Much has been promised about the contractual employment for workers, but human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said he will push for a clear legislation to address job security.
“Kung maganda ang resulta nitong darating ng halalan, makakapaggawa tayo ng bagong panukalang batas diyan sa endo na klaro siya (If we have good results this coming election, we can propose a new law on endo that is clear),” Diokno said during an interview on “Usapang Pera” Wednesday night, Oct. 27.
“Endo” or end of contract comes at the fifth month of employment. The employees are terminated before they reach the six-month probationary period.
Putting an end to the practice of labor contractualization by employers was one of President Duterte’s campaign promises in 2016, but he vetoed the Security of Tenure bill three years into his term.
Diokno, who is running for senator under Vice President Leni Robredo’s slate, stressed the need to distinguish between legitimate outsourcing and outsourcing being done by erring employers.
He noted some employers resort to outsourcing in a way to avoid compliance with labor laws and paying the rightful benefits to their workers.
“May legitimate namang outsourcing. Wala naman tayong isyu diyan. (There is legitimate outsourcing. We don’t have an issue about that). There is really a part of our business that requires outsourcing,” said Diokno.
“Pero kailangan ma-distinguish natin iyong legitimate doon sa outsourcing na ginagawa lang para makaiwas sa labor laws at para maikutan nila iyong nasa batas at iyong obligasyon sa mga empleyado nila. Doon dapat klaro ang batas natin (But we have to distinguish legitimate outsourcing from the ones being done to circumvent the law and avoid obligations to their employees),” he added.
The senatorial aspirant underscored the importance for workers to obtain regular employment status, saying they can get security of tenure and be entitled to the many benefits provided by law.
“If you’re a regular employee, you have security of tenure. That means you just can’t be terminated. There should be a legal basis when you lose your jobs or get terminated,” she said in Filipino.
Diokno is the head of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) that provides free legal aid to victims of abuse and poor Filipinos.
He established a free legal help desk during the pandemic to help address the legal problems of poor Filipinos who cannot afford to get the services of a lawyer.