By Raymund Antonio
As workers’ groups marked the observance of Labor Day, Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday renewed her call to end “endo” or contractualization in the country.
In her short message, Robredo urged Filipinos to unite in the call to stop the contract employment scheme, which she has campaigned for even before she assumed the vice presidency.
“Ngayong Mayo Uno, magkaisa tayo na wakasan na ang endo at kontraktuwalisasyon,” Robredo tweeted.
(Today, May 1, let us unite to end endo and contractualization.)
The May 1 rally staged by workers from different labor groups zeroed in on the labor problem of endo, the colloquial term for “end of contract.”
This a contract employment scheme that refers to the practice, wherein companies hire employees for less than six months to avoid the labor code requirement that will regularize them after that period.
Robredo, chair of the opposition Liberal Party, also pushed for fair working conditions for Filipino workers on Labor Day.
She said: “Itaguyod ang ligtas, marangal, at regular na trabaho para sa manggagawang Pilipino.”
(Let us promote safe, decent and regular jobs for Filipino workers.)
The Vice President, who was a pro bono lawyer for indigent groups in Bicol, underscored the importance of upholding the welfare of Filipino workers.
Before she ran for public office, Robredo worked for Saligan, providing legal help for the poor, fisherfolk, and marginalized sectors, including laborers.
Robredo has been pushing for security of tenure for Filipino workers, continuously urging the government to revisit reforms that are meant to strengthen their rights.
On Labor Day, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno also called for an end to endo as he marched in solidarity with various labor groups during their protest action in Quezon City.
The Otso Diretso bet said he would fight for workers’ security of tenure if elected to the Senate.
“Ipaglalaban natin ang ating mga karapatan. Ititigil ‘yang endo na ‘yan. ‘Yung mga pagpapabor sa mga manggagawa na taga-Tsina, itigil na rin ‘yan. Freedom is not given. Talagang we have to fight for it,” Diokno stressed.
(We will fight for our rights. We will stop that endo. Giving favors to workers from China, let us stop that. Freedom is not given. We really have to fight for it.)
“Ako’y nakikiisa sa lahat ng mga manggagawa, hindi lang sa pribadong sektor kundi pati sa government. Marami din tayong manggagawa sa government sector na hindi kinikilala ‘yung kanilang karapatan,” he added.
(I’m one with all the workers, not only from the private sector, but also those working in government. We also have many workers from the government sector whose rights are not recognized.)