Roque: Duterte may sign executive order vs contractualization on or before May 1

(FILE) Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

(Eagle News) –President Rodrigo Duterte may sign an executive order (EO) against contractualization or “endo” on or before May 1, according to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, April 16.

Roque said the President wanted the EO “as soon as possible,” but a “final version” — a tripartite document — has yet to be “agreed upon” by labor, management and the government.

“I would think that they would want a significant EO like this to be issued in connection with another commemoration giving, recognizing the value of the labor sector in our society, which is Labor Day,” Roque said.

Labor groups said they have been invited to the executive order’s signing later today, but it had been canceled.

“I do not know [why a final version is yet to come] but what I do know is that the President is rather restive. He has mentioned to me personally that this is a campaign promise that he wants to deliver to the people very soon,” Roque said.

Roque said the EO would be advantageous to the labor groups.

“I would suppose, because it is a promise that the President gave, that it would be an EO that would side with the labor forces,” Roque said.

Roque added that he would have to ask the President for the next scheduled meeting with the labor groups.

Last year, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued Department Order 174 that prohibited illegal contracting agreements, including the “endo” and “555” schemes.  This was, however, criticized by labor groups as it still allowed certain types of contractualization.

Bello said that the total ban on contractualization was “impossible to implement” because the law allowed some exceptions.

The Palace said earlier that the government cannot meet the demand of labor groups for a total ban on contractualization because such would need legislation.

In a speech in February, Duterte suggested that he cannot force employers to regularize contractual workers and that a “compromise” acceptable to everybody would be the most feasible way to address “endo.”