Ending endo

May 27, 2019

It was a specific campaign promise made in 2016 by then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte, then mayor of Davao City and seeking the presidency in that year’s general elections made a spectacular come-from-behind bid for the highest post in the land in a monstrous electoral landslide.

His bold commitments to crush the illegal narcotics trade, and other criminal activities; pursue peace with major rebel/insurgent groups, boost regional developments, and stop abusive business practices like destructive mining and short term labor contracting, endeared himself to voters who believed his bold, sweeping policy reforms.

It is encouraging to note that the Senate is bringing to fruition one of his key reform measures to address unfair or oppressive labor and employment practices in place for decades.

In a move that spells victory for workers seeking long-term or permanent employment, the Senate has approved a bill, which seeks to put an end to abusive work schemes such as labor-only contracting and end of contract.

Voting 15-0, the upper chamber approved on final reading Senate Bill No. 1826, otherwise known as the proposed Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act.

The bill’s third reading approval came after it was passed on second reading with several amendments on the same day.

Congress dispenses with the three-day rule for measures certified by President Duterte as urgent.

The bill aims to provide social protection to workers by ensuring their constitutional right to security of tenure, through the prohibition on labor-only contracting.

Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, said the practice of contractualization affects more than 1.9 million workers in the private sector.

Overall, about three out of 10 Filipino workers are not regular and one out of two non-regular workers are contractual, he noted.

Endo is defined as "the scheme of continuously employing workers on a fixed period and replacing these workers again upon expiration of the contract with other workers on the same employment duration". The scheme is prevalent in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food service, and crop and animal production.

On the other hand, "contracting" refers to an arrangement whereby a principal agrees to engage the services of a contractor to perform or complete a specific job or work within a definite or predetermined period, regardless of whether such job or work is to be performed or completed within or outside the premises of the principal.