‘Endo’ employers to be shot – Rody

August 11, 2016 at 16:50

‘Endo’ employers to be shot – Rody

By Giovanni Nilles (The Philippine Star) Updated August 6, 2016 – 12:00am

Duterte issued the warning when he addressed members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting last Wednesday, saying he is serious about ending labor contractualization in the country. PND/Toto Lozano

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte has threatened to shoot businessmen who practice “endo” or labor contractualization – though he admitted using hyperbole in his speech.

Endo is the colloquial term for end of contract.

Duterte issued the warning when he addressed members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting last Wednesday, saying he is serious about ending labor contractualization in the country.

“I am warning you, you choose: stop contractualization or I will kill you. You know why… I am the President. I am here. I have immunity,” the President said.

He added that as Chief Executive, he could order people to call the businessmen to appear before him.

“Barilin kita diyan. ‘Dalhin sa punerarya yan.’ (I can shoot you and order someone to bring you to the funeral parlor,” Duterte said. “Painitin mo ang ulo ko (Try to make me angry). I will call you here, then slap you one by one. Eh, sanay akong… talagang naninipa ako ng tao (I am used to kicking people).”

The President stressed that no one is exempted in the campaign against labor contractualization.

“I could not inspect every business in the entire country. But when you commit a mistake, I have no tolerance. I will close down (your establishment),” he said.

“I just ordered the labor secretary: ‘Look into the records. Close (the concerned establishment). If we do not have the power to close it… I will go, I will shoot.’ That’s it. Your business is shut down. But this is just hyperbole,” Duterte added, drawing laughter from the audience.

Duterte said that while he cannot, in reality, shoot people, those are the thoughts that run through his head when he thinks of ending the endo problem.

No shame campaign

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday rejected calls for the mounting of a shame campaign against companies engaging in illegal contractual scheme.

DOLE issued the statement amid calls by militant groups for Duterte to name employers practicing contractualization.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said he would just close down these companies.

“Shame campaign would be the initiative of the private sector because the moment you order the closure of one company, that is enough shame,” Bello said.

He said a manpower company is facing investigation and possible closure for engaging in contractualization.

Based on initial investigation, Bello said the company employing about 500 workers is not paying its employees the right wages.

“The workers are only receiving P200 a day which is a clear violation of the minimum wage law. I already ordered the labor inspector to conduct further investigation for other violations,” the labor chief said.

The government is also studying the proposal for criminalization of contractualization.

Bello, however, said he would push for administrative sanctions.

“We have to study that very, very carefully because it might be too harsh to criminalize contractualization. Initially, my position would be just the administrative penalty like closure and cancellation of permit,” he said.

Bello said imposing higher fines is also a possible measure to curb contractualization.

He said DOLE is also open to the idea of tapping the assistance of labor groups, such as the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), in inspecting commercial establishments.

In a statement, PM chairman Rene Magtubo yesterday said if the target of Bello is to reduce contractualization in half by the end of the year, “then the present cadre of some 600 labor inspectors must be beefed up by trained and motivated volunteers from the workers movement.”

“By deputizing labor leaders, the number of inspections of establishment using subcontracting schemes can be multiplied overnight, enforcement can be strengthened immediately and hundreds of thousands of contractual workers can be regularized as a result,” he said.

PM also backed the proposal of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines to criminalize violations of laws and regulations on contractualization.  – With Mayen Jaymalin, Sheila Crisostomo

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