By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Kilusang Mayo Uno’s (KMU) Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog urged the government to end contractualization in its system before calling for the private business sectors to stop their “endo” or the end of contract practices.
In a forum on contractualization at the Baguio City Hall Multipurpose Hall on August 10, Labog said that there are many casuals, job orders, working under a memorandum of agreement (MoA) or other terms that in general is contractualization in the different departments and agencies of the government.
He said that their security of tenure depends on the number of months defined under their job contracts. He said that like the workers in the private sector, they have no benefits that the regular or permanent workers enjoy.
He said that in the private sector, the business owners and the employers prefer “Labor-only-contracting” (LOC) that saves them a lot from obligation to their laborers as provided by the law. Meanwhile in the public sector, he said, the government is employing the “cooperatives”. He explained this scheme as another form of LOC where retired and former public employees enter into an agreement with the government to do a particular job. A former government employee then recruits other former public servants and form a sort of “cooperative” to serve as a workforce to work for a particular function for the government.
Meanwhile, Confederation of Unity for the Recognition, Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) National President Ferdinand Gaite said that contractualization is a product of neoliberal policies where cheap labor is enforced to rake in more profit. He said such practice is being adopted by the government itself not only to avoid compliance to labor laws or legal benefits for regular workers but to hinder them from joining unions and associations that empower government employees to negotiate a Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA).
Gaite said that the public employees should organize themselves into unions to push for their rightful demands from their employer, the government. He said they should also be in solidarity with workers in the private sector in the call to end contractualization, push for regularization and demand for a national minimum daily wage of P750 per day to cope with the prices of basic commodities and services.
The forum was organized by the KMU-Cordillera, Courage-Cordillera, Alliance of Health Workers-Cordillera, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Cordillera in coordination with the City Government of Baguio. # nordis.net