EO on contractualization out by Labor Day — Palace

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PHOTO taken in July last year shows workers staging a protest. — PHILSTAR

THE long-awaited executive order (EO) on contractualization may be out on Labor Day at the latest, Malacañang said on Monday, April 16.

The EO as anticipated by labor groups was expected to be out on Monday. But in a press briefing that day, Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said, “Well, okay, I was looking at my own calendar. I did not find it in my own calendar. So, it was not even in my calendar.”

He added: “The President wants it as soon as possible. We all know that Labor Day is May 1, so I would think that it will come out on or before May 1.”

As for the final version of the EO, Mr. Roque said: “I can only surmise that the final version of the EO has not been agreed upon by labor, management, and government. It’s a tripartite document, which has to be agreed upon. So, possibly, they don’t have a final version yet.”

According to Mr. Roque, the President is “restive” about the EO. “He has mentioned to me personally that this is a campaign promise that he wants to deliver to the people very soon.”

Asked what can be expected from the EO, Mr. Roque said: “I would suppose, because it is a promise given by the President to labor groups, it will be an EO that will side with the labor forces.”

Sought for comment, Labor Undersecretary Jacinto V. Paras said in a text message the final draft may not cover all contracts. “What I’ve heard is that not all contracts will be covered,” he said.

The Palace had earlier said the Office of the President was leaving the fate of the proposed total ban on labor contractualization to Congress, since the EO would only be limited to the “strict implementation of the existing laws.” — Arjay L. Balinbin