New admin can improve job quality for millions, end contractualization–IBON

July 22, 2016

by IBON Foundation

The basic economic issues confronting the new Duterte​ administration will take center stage in the peace negotiations as the next substantive agenda on the Comprehensive Agreement for Soci​al and Economic Reforms. IBON joins the public in aspiring for the soonest resumption of the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

#SONA2016 #justpeacePH | Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte can take the first steps to improve overall quality of jobs for millions of Filipino workers by fulfilling his promise of ending contractualization, said research group IBON.  In his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA), Duterte can issue an executive order banning contractualization and encourage the super-majority in Congress to amend Articles 106-109 of the Philippine Labor Code (Herrera Law) that legalizes the antiworker practice. He can also declare the long-term strategy of national industrialization, which can create gainful employment, the group said.

Neoliberal policies favor foreign and local business elites, leading to rampant  practice of contractualization.  Under this scheme, employees are hired for less than six months per contract and paid low wages without benefits, despite performing essential tasks for the company. IBON estimates that four out of ten (43.5%) of rank-and-file workers are in non-regular work – meaning contractual, probationary, casual, seasonal, and apprentice workers – or are agency-hired.

Also according to IBON, an estimated 24.4 million or around 63% of total employed are actually in poor quality work, consisting of: non-regular and agency-hired workers (6.6 million), private households (2.0 million), self-employed without paid employee (10.7 million), employer in own family-operated farm or business (1.2 million), or unpaid family work (3.9 million).

The group said that the Duterte administration can already take the initial step of stopping contractualization within the executive branch. This would be implemented in government departments, agencies and local government units known to employ a significant number of contractual workers.  Duterte can then encourage legislators to amend Articles 106-109 of the Labor Code also known as the Herrera Law, which gives the labor secretary the power to issue orders promoting contractualization. IBON added that declaring national industrialization as a major strategy will create secure and better quality jobs based on the interlinkages of robust agriculture and industry that will contribute to national development.

Ensuring regular quality work and benefits can help millions of workers and their families attain decent living.  Pres. Duterte can take initial steps to make this possible by ending contractualization, concluded IBON. ###