(MAY 1, 2019) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday called on Congress to consider passing laws that would “fully protect” the rights of Filipino workers.
In his Labor Day message, the president praised the country’s labor force for its valuable contributions to nation-building.
“Every year, we set aside this day to celebrate their (workers) valuable contributions not only in the struggle to provide a better life for our people, but in building the foundations of a more promising future for succeeding generations of Filipinos,” he wrote.
Duterte then sympathized with the persisting plight of workers especially those who opt for jobs abroad for better compensation.
“This is why my administration has implemented measures within its powers to afford full protection to labor and promote equal work opportunities for all,” he said.
Worker-related laws including the telecommuting act, expanded maternity leave law, and lowering of income taxes under TRAIN law were passed during Duterte’s term.
“Today, we celebrate the working class not as a tool of employers and capitalists, but as an essential catalyst for our nation’s overall progress,” Duterte wrote.
Last year, the chief executive issued the “landmark” Executive Order (EO) No. 51 albeit without a congressional measure, seeking to put an end to contractualization.
Labor groups, however, have time and again branded the president’s EO as “useless.”
They said it failed to include provisions approved by the Labor department, such as direct hiring as the general norm in employer-employee relations.
Ending contractualization was part of Duterte’s campaign promises in 2016.