Duterte seeking compromise on contractualization

Ruth Abbey Gita

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is seeking a "compromise" as he admitted Monday, February 26, that he is having difficulty fulfilling his pledge to prohibit all forms of unlawful contractualization.

Duterte, who made a vow during the presidential campaign to end contractualization, said he could not compel employers to give in to his plan to push for regularization of contractual employees.

"I don't think that I can really give them all because we cannot force the capitalists if they have no money or they do not want it or they are lazy (to implement it)," the President said in a speech in Davao City.

"Don't make it hard for them to run the business because that's the way they like it because that's their money," he added.

Duterte also took note that while there was a "sheer number" of people seeking jobs, only a few businesses hire new employees.

To meet the demands of the workers and their employers, Duterte is seeking a "compromise" that both parties would accept.

"There's a sheer number of people needing jobs. But because there are a few businesses to absorb the human resource, they want some radical change," he said.

"So (I want) something of a compromise (that) may be acceptable to everybody," the President added.

In March 2017, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) signed Department Order (DO) 174, which sets strict regulations governing contracting and subcontracting arrangements.

The labor sector has expressed dissatisfaction over DO 174 and urged Duterte to sign the much-awaited executive order (EO), which bans all forms of illegal contractualization.

Dole Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier this month said the President was expected to sign the EO by March.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., speaking to Palace reporters on Tuesday, February 27, said Duterte still needs more time to study possible remedies to address the issue of contractualization.

"He (Duterte) has asked for more time to study the matter and that's what he is doing now," he said in a press conference. (SunStar Philippines)