By Raymund Antonio
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno on Wednesday told Filipino workers not to solely depend on the government to solve their labor-related problems.
“I’m one with the workers and I would tell all of you, let us not rely on the government. We should rely on ourselves. Let us fight for our rights,” Diokno, an opposition bet from Otso Diretso slate, said.
“The issue of endo until now is still pending at the Senate, it’s not progressing,” he noted.
The senatorial candidate was referring to Senate Bill 1826 or the current Security of Tenure Bill pending at the upper chamber, which he is supporting to protect the rights of workers.
Endo or contractualization is an employment scheme wherein workers have contracts that are renewed every six months.
Marking Labor Day, workers from various labor groups reminded President Duterte to fulfill his campaign promise of putting an end to illegal contractualization.
Diokno attended the Labor Day rally organized by the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa or Sentro held at Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City. Also present were Otso Diretso candidates Erin Tañada and Bam Aquino.
Asked about the differing House and Senate versions of the Security of Tenure Bill, Diokno said he is looking forward to the resumption of deliberations on the proposed measure in the Senate.
“I think there is no debate when we talk about the issue of 5-5-5, but the labor-only contracting, that is really the issue,” he said.
The human rights lawyer said he “will not allow any circumvention of the security of tenure” if elected to the Senate.
“The basic principle is clear if you are required by a company and your service is a service that the company needs then you should really be considered as a regular employee,” he explained.