Press Release
September 26, 2016


The Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development chaired by Senator Joel Villanueva is set to conduct its second hearing on Tuesday, September 27, with the aim to address the evils of contractualization and the "endo" scheme.

The committee invited leaders and representatives coming from both public and private sector, academe, and trade unions.

Among those in the guest list are Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III; Guenter Taus, President of the European Chambers of the Philippines (ECCP); trade union leaders Atty. Raymond Mendoza (TUCP-PGEA), Atty. Ruben Torres (TUCP), and Elmer Labog (KMU); UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations Dean Rene Ofreneo; PCCI President George Barcelon; and SM Retail, Inc. President Jeorge Mendiola.

Committee chair Sen. Villanueva urges the resource persons to present their side in addressing "endo" or the "555" scheme.

"I vow to end contractualization and any other forms of labor abuse. I propose to prohibit labor-only contractualization and limit contractual services to highly specialized fields. We have to ensure that we adopt a law that will regularize workers and ensure that they will receive social benefits and protection. In addition, I am also pushing for a law that will create a support fund for workers who will be in between jobs," Villanueva emphasized.

Senator Villanueva has recently filed Senate Bill No.1130 or An Act Establishing a Labor Empowerment Assistance Program (LEAP) which provides for financial assistance to workers in between job periods at an amount which is no less than the appropriate minimum wage. The senator commits to pass this bill alongside the anti-contractualization bill.

"Our workers are the lifeblood of our economy. They have been neglected for many years now. Our goal is to ensure that they receive what is due them" the senator said.

On Tuesday's hearing, the labor committee targets to raise issues regarding all forms of contractualization; ensure security of tenure; and address the unemployment rate. The hearing would further serve as a fitting venue for trade unions and the government to settle their differences in resolving the "endo" scheme.

Last Sunday, the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) expressed its opposition on the government's proposal that will allow regularization of contractual workers at the manpower service provider level rather than by the principal employer. The union considered the said move as "another form of contractualization that is not in the Labor Code" according to an article published by The Manila Times.

"I am positive that through these hearings, we would be able to engage employers, the government, and the labor groups in a fruitful debate and hopefully come up with viable solutions on this problem," Villanueva said.

Meanwhile, most recent data by the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that the Philippine unemployment rate is at 5.6% from 6.1% in April 2016, while underemployment rate is at 17.3% from 18.4% during the same period.

With regard to the problem of "endo", the DOLE data reports that as of 2016, there are 5,150 registered contractors, with 416,343 workers deployed across 26,194 principals.

During the Senate's first hearing on "endo", the DOLE said it aims to address the said problem by strictly enforcing compliance to labor standards, reviewing the present Department Order 18-A framework towards the issuance of new set of implementing rules; and proposing amendments to the Labor Code that specifically deals with contractualization.

To date, seven bills and three resolutions have been filed in the Senate seeking to put an end to the said labor scheme.

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