By Genalyn Kabiling and Leslie Ann Aquino
An executive order (EO) seeking to put a stop to the end-of-contract scheme or “endo” might be forthcoming in time for the observance of Labor Day today, May 1, Malacañang said Monday.
The President’s final decision on the proposed EO against endo, however, will depend on the outcome of his meeting with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III at the Palace Monday, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
“I can confirm that there might be an EO that may or may not be signed depending on their meeting tonight (Monday night),”Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
Malacañang had earlier announced that the President would no longer sign an EO against the controversial short-term employment and instead tossed the matter to Congress. Duterte has reportedly committed to certify the security of tenure bill as urgent instead of signing the EO on contractualization.
During today’s Labor Day celebration in Cebu City, President Duterteis expected to pay tribute to the country’s workers.
He is scheduled to visit the “Trabaho, Negosyo, at Kabuhayan” fair at the IEC Convention Centre in Cebu Tuesday morning.
“Napakadami namang good news naibibigay angPresidente [The President will share many good news],”Roque said, when asked about the President’s Labor Day gift to workers.
“First time, libreng tuition sa state universities and colleges; libreng patubig; libreng – ang dami niyan na ngayon lang binibigay ni Presidente. Pero mamayang hapon po ay magpupulong si Secretary Bello at saka si Presidente for whatever may be released tomorrow in Cebu [First time, there is free tuition in state universities and colleagues, free irrigation. The President is giving many things. But the president will meet with Secretary Bello for whatever may be released tomorrow in Cebu],” he added.
While the President is expected to pay tribute to the labor force, thousands of workers from various labor groups and associations will mark Labor Day with protest actions.
The joint Nagkaisa labor coalition and the Kilusang Mayo Uno will march together from Mabuhay Welcome Rotunda in Quezon City to the historic Mendiola Bridge near the gates of Malacañang to call for an end to contractualization.
“Ang pangakong end endo ay na Duterte kaya tuloy ang laban ng mga manggagawa,” Nagkaisa spokesman Renato “Ka Rene” Magtubo said in a statement.
Magtubo said the chance to make this second Labor Day celebration under the administration more meaningful was lost when the President took a U-turn on contractualization by rejecting the labor sector draft of an EO.
“The best that we can see and hear tomorrow are job fairs and fairy tales,” he said, unaware that the EO to end endo might still be signed.
DOLE Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod remains confident that the President will still make a significant announcement for workers on Labor Day.
But Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillodo not have high hopes to this so-called announcement from Malacanang.
“I don’t know what promises they will make again. The workers already lost their trust on this government,” he said.
Meanwhile, other than the main demand of ending contractualization, other working class issues –such as wage hike, high prices of goods and services, and unemployment – will be raised in the nationwide rallies.
In today’s Labor Day celebration, more than 140,000 jobs will be made available to job seekers during simultaneous job and livelihood fairs of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Of the said job vacancies, the labor official said 58,171 are for local employment while 89,914 are for overseas.
The top 10 vacancies for local employment are: combat soldiers, production machine operator, mason, customer service representative, construction worker, carpenter, call center agent, PDEA agent, production or factory worker, and service crew.
For overseas, the top 10 are: nurses, technicians, construction worker, food and beverage, waiter/waitress, drivers, cleaner, laborer, tire fitter, and engineers.