- Posted June 27, 2014 by
Filipino workers' right to job security sought
Authored by Gabriela Women's Party Reps. Emmi De Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan, House Bill 4396 amends the Labor Code of the Philippines, specifically Article 106, Section 1; Article 107, Section 2; Article 279, Section 3; Article 280, Section 4 and Article 281, Section 5.
In filing the bill, the lawmakers said the workers' right to job security has been emasculated since contractual employment was allowed under the Labor Code, which was approved under the Marcos dictatorship.
They said the Labor Code gives the Labor Secretary the power to issue guidelines on contractual employment. Although the Herrera Law amended the Labor Code in 1989, it did not remove such power from the Labor Secretary.
"The said power has been used by Labor Secretaries to legalize contractual employment, virtually teaching capitalists on how to contractualize work forces in a legal way. Under the present government of Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has issued Department Order 18-A Series of 2011 to legalize contractual employment," the authors said.
As a result, contractual employees have outnumbered the regular workers, according to the lawmakers.
"The service sector, the biggest sector of the economy, has become a haven for contractualization, especially the malls, fast food chains and hotels. Special economic zones or SEZs, especially the export processing zones among these, also rely heavily on contractualization, where an estimated 80 to 90 per cent of workers are contractuals. Big agro-corporations employ a huge number of contractuals," they stressed.
They also said contractualization has a woman's face since many work areas where contractual employment is rampant shows a high concentration of women workers.