WORKERS’ RIGHTS PRRD optimistic Congress will pass pro-labor measures

THE NATION’S STRENGTH. President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a speech during the opening ceremony of Palarong Pambansa 2019 held at the University of the Phillipines over the weekend. In his Labor Day statement released on Wednesday, the Chief Executive has extended his appreciation for the contribution in nation building of the hardworking labor force here and abroad. Lean Daval Jr

President Rodrigo Duterte is optimistic Congress will consider passing needed legislative measures that will fully protect workers’ rights, especially to security of tenure and self-organization.

“I remain optimistic that one year since I issued Executive Order (EO) No. 51 implementing existing constitutional and statutory provisions against illegal contracting, my counterparts in Congress will consider passing much needed legislative measures that will fully protect our workers’ rights, especially to secure of tenure and self-organization,” the President said in his Labor Day message Wednesday.

Duterte’s EO 51 seeks the implementation of Article 106 of the Labor Code of the Philippines “to protect the right of security of tenure of all workers based on social justice in the 1987 Philippine Constitution”. It “strictly” prohibits contracting or subcontracting “undertaken to circumvent the worker’s right to security of tenure, self-organization and collective bargaining, and peaceful concerted activities”.

In joining the Filipino workers in marking Labor Day, Duterte, who is in Davao City, said the country cites the working class as an essential catalyst for the country’s overall progress.

The President recognizes that the nation’s strength depends on the hard work, grit and perseverance of the country’s labor force.

“Every year, we set aside this day to celebrate their valuable contributions not only in the struggle to provide a better life for our people, but in building the foundations of a more promising future for succeeding generations of Filipinos,” he said.

The President, however, lamented that despite the yearly observance, the plight of the workers, especially those who choose to leave their families so they may earn better compensation abroad, remains the same.

“This is why my administration has implemented measures within its powers to afford full protection to labor and promote equal work opportunities for all,” he said.

It may be recalled that Duterte certified the passage of the security of tenure bill (Senate Bill 1826) September last year as urgent in efforts to fulfill his campaign promise of banning labor-only contracting in the country.

The measure was expected to strengthen workers’ security of tenure by prohibiting the prevalent practices of contractualization and labor-only contracting.

Congress approved its own version, House Bill 916 or the Anti-Endo Act in January last year. (PNA)