A progressive labor rights group lauded all five presidential candidates for speaking out against the practice of big businesses of engaging in contractualization instead of granting permanent status for their employees.
In a statement, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said that the uniform opposition of the presidential bets to contractualization just goes to show how evil the said practice is. “Contractualization is a blatant attack on the rights of workers, especially on their right to have a living wage, job security, and to organize themselves,” the group said in Filipino.
Below are excerpts of what the candidates said during the discussion on contractualization:
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte:
“The moment I become president, contractualization will stop. I will not allow that.”
Senator Grace Poe: “Ang EndO (end-of-contract) system ay hindi makatarungan. Hindi sila makina na itatapon na lamang kapag hindi na kailangan. Yung mga produktong gawa nila, limang taon ang expiration. Ibig sabihin ba noon, mas mahalaga yung produkto kaysa sa kanila?”
Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas: “Maghahain ako ng mga panukala sa Kongreso para mapunan ang loopholes na nagiging dahilan kung bakit iyan nagpapatuloy. Kailangan rin nating padamihin ang oportunidad sa permanenteng trabaho.”
Vice President Jejomar Binay:
“Palalakasin natin ang proteksyon ng mga manggagawa sang-ayon sa batas upang may habol sila.”
Senator Miriam Santiago: “We need more job opportunities in different sectors to improve the number of jobs.”
Nevertheless, the group lamented that contractualization actually flourished during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, citing a 2015 case involving Philippine Airlines and the 2015 labor dispute within Tanduay Distillers. “Tiyak na ipagpapatuloy ni Mar Roxas ang kontraktuwalisasyon kung siya ang magiging pangulo,” (“As president, Mar Roxas will certainly allow the practice of contractualization to go on,”) KMU noted.
KMU added that although the candidates’ promises were good, whoever wins the election must be held accountable for their words. “Sa dulo, ang pagkakaisa at paglaban ng mga manggagawa ang tatapos sa kontraktwalisasyon,” (“In the end, contractualization will only end if workers will be united in fighting against it.”) the group concluded.