Bello signs new department order on contractualization

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(File photo) Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello has signed the new department order on contractualization tonight and will release it Thursday morning.

Bello says he will reveal all the details in a press conference, also on Thursday morning.

But his undersecretary Joel Maglunsod explains, the department order will stop the direct contracting of regular jobs from agencies.

Bello said, "We consulted labor and also management and one of the labor leaders who is now my undersecretary. He used to be the head of KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno). So if it is acceptable to him, it must be acceptable to labor."

He added, "I just hope that they will accept it kasi we have to strike a balance between labor and management."

Militant worker group Kilusang Mayo Uno is protesting outside the Department of Labor and Employment and they plan to hold their vigil-protest until tomorrow.

Earlier, KMU said they believe the department order will still allow contractualization and say it will get worse.

Labor group leaders had a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte last February 27 where he directed Bello to create a new department order on contractualization.

Secretary Bello also held another dialogue, this time with labor workers and employers, but they failed to come to an agreement. Some labor leaders walked out of the meeting.

Read: Labor leaders walk out of 'endo' talks

They claimed most of the final draft of the order is favorable to employers.

The final draft allows manpower agencies – instead of the principal employees – to regularize workers. As for contractualization, it will still be allowed for seasonal and project-based jobs.

But labor groups like KMU want to completely eliminate contractualization and agency hiring.

According to Rogelio Soluta, vice chairman of KMU, "Mananatili yung tawag na job contractive. Ang tindig ng mga manggagawa, ano mang porma ng contractualization maging ito ay labor only contracting, job contracting yun ay parehas na tinututulan ng mga mangagawa dahil parehos na sumasaga sa karapatan ng manggagawa. Binabaratan ng sahod."

[Translation: Contractual work will continue. Workers object to any form of contractualization whether it's labor only contracting, job contracting - workers object to those equally because it goes against their rights. They're not being properly paid.]

He added, "Ang pagbasa namin sa pakikipagdialogo ng DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) at sa pagitan ng President kitang-kita na ang tindig niya... dun pa lang sa dialogue ni PRRD (President Rodrigo Duterte), fino-float na niya yung idea na pwede pa ring umiral ang ibang porma ng contractualization."

[Translation: What we got from the dialogue with DOLE and the President is their purpose is very obvious...from the dialogue with PRRD. he was floating the idea that other forms of contractualization can still exist.]