Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III has renewed his call for workers’ groups to seek the ‘middle ground’ in the common desire to end illegal contractualization practices by employers.
Bello made the appeal as the labor department concluded its nationwide consultative summits on endo and contractualizaton.
“While the Department is keen on curbing illegitimate contractualization or ‘endo’ practices as directed by the President, we recognize that there are legitimate forms of contracting and thus may be allowed particularly in seasonal and project employment,” he told the labor groups during the last leg of Labor Summit held in Cebu.
Stressing that illegal contractualization and “endo” practices undermine workers’ right to job security, Bello encouraged labor groups to keep an open mind and consider the possibility of finding a middle ground that would be mutually beneficial to workers and employers.
He added that just as the Constitution protects the rights and promotes the welfare of workers, it also recognizes the right of employers to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth.
“Workers and employers are bound to co-exist. One could not be without the other,” he said.
Bello said the summit served as opportunity for labor leaders to identify the priority concerns of the workers movement while the administration is still in the process of firming up its national development plan.
“I urge labor groups to work hand-in-hand with the current Administration in identifying plans, policies and platform of engagement in the next medium term that are anchored on principles of decent work and social justice,” he said.
“This will also pave the way for the formulation of a Comprehensive Labor Agenda under the Duterte Administration, which would be submitted for consideration in the formulation and finalization of the national development plan,” he added.
The Labor Summit, aside from tackling the issue of contractualization, was organized to generate inputs and positions on other labor sector concerns, particularly on industrial policy and economic roadmap; security of tenure; wage, tax, and price reform; labor rights and standards; migration; informal economy; and women.