MANILA, Philippines – Senatorial candidate Jesus Caceres, who is running as an independent, suggests creating more jobs in the provinces to end labor contractualization.
Caceres was among the 11 senatorial bets who were asked how they plan to put a stop to “end-of-contract” (endo) labor schemes during ABS-CBN’s “Harapan 2019” forum on Sunday, March 3. (READ: Senate bets on labor issues: End 'endo,' gender discrimination)
“So ang kailangan po natin mag-create ng napakaraming trabaho sa mga bayan, sa mga probinsiya, at mga region, upang magkaroon ng mga kompetensiya ng mga trabaho. Siguro sa paraan na ‘yan, aalagaan ng mga employer ang kanilang mga empleyado,” said Caceres, who was Sangguniang Kabataan chair of Barangay Salvacion in Libmanan, Camarines Sur for 6 years.
(So what we need to do is to create more jobs in our towns, provinces, and regions, so there will be job competitiveness. Perhaps through this means, the employers would take care of their employees.)
A majority of the senatorial candidates likewise agreed that providing more jobs to Filipinos and giving them the means to be experts in their respective fields are crucial to abolish endo.
Here are the answers of the other 10 senatorial aspirants present during the forum:
“Para magkaroon ng trabaho ang mga walang trabaho, simple lamang po: Alisin ‘yong contractualization para sila ay maging eksperto. At ipasok natin ‘yong sinabi ko kanina – profit sharing – para ‘yong mga manggagawa ay magsisikap para mapaunlad ang kanilang kumpanya. Sa pamamagitan nito, ‘yong mahihirap ay maitataas at dadami ang ating middle class sa ating bansa.”
(To provide jobs to the jobless, the solution is simple: Remove contractualization so they become experts. And this is where what I said earlier comes in – profit sharing – so the employees will work hard to improve their company. Through this, poverty will be alleviated and there will be more residents part of the middle class in our country.)
“Bilang isang negosyante po… titignan po natin alin ba ang dapat na pang-long-term job, alin ba ang dapat pang-contractualization. Kasi hindi po pupuwede lahat ng trabaho ay gawing long-term ang manggagawa. Ngayon, kung kayo ay nalagay doon sa trabaho na dapat ay pangmahabaan, doon po natin i-secure ang inyong employment. Pero para doon sa mga short-term job – halimbawa, huhukay ka lang ng septic tank – hindi kita puwedeng suwelduhan habang buhay kasi ang project na 'yan ay hanggang doon lang. So kung ako ay papalarin mo, hihimayin nating mabuti 'yan kung saan nating poprotektuhan ang mga manggagagawa sa long-term job na may expertise at 'yong mga short job, para lahat sila naka-kontrata nang tama at protektado ang mga manggagawa.”
(As a businessman… we will look at which jobs are long-term and which ones are for contractualization. Not all jobs of workers can be long-term. Now, if you have a job that is for the long-term, we will secure your employment. But for those with short-term jobs – for example, digging a septic tank – I cannot provide salary to you forever because that project is limited. So if I am given the chance, we will review in what aspects we can protect those who have long-term jobs with their expertise, and as for those with short-term jobs, we we will protect them and ensure their contracts are proper.)
“Kung sana’y hindi namatay si ambassador Roy Señeres no’ng dapat siya ay tumakbo na pangulo, ay wala na ho 'yong endo, wala na 'yong 5-5-5… Ayusin ho natin ang ating hong mga manggagagawa, na kung saan ang pribado at pampubliko ay dapat ho’y merong early retirement ang atin hong mga manggagawa. Twenty years na, dapat hong magpahinga ang ating mga manggagawa at mag-negosyo. Pag nagkaroon ho ng retirement pay ang ating mga manggagawa, doblehin ng gobyerno para ho may pang-negosyo ang ating mga manggagawa.”
(If the late ambassador Roy Señeres did not die and he became president, the issue of endo and 5-5-5 would have disappeared… We will provide early retirement for all workers in the public and private sectors. After 20 years, the employee should retire and build his or her own business. When the worker gets retirement pay, the government should double the amount so our workers will be able to do business.)
“Ang problema po natin ngayon ang ating ekonomiya ay walang kakayahan na magbigay ng trabaho. Ito po ay pinatutunayan ng 7,000 hanggang 10,000 Pilipino na nasa abroad. Ano ang dapat nating gawin para magkaroon ng trabaho? Una, palakasin nating ang ating industriya. Pangalawa, gumawa po tayo ng lahat ng makinarya na kailangan ng ating industriya, nang 'di na kinakailangan na tayo ay magi-import po ng mga makinaryang ‘yan para lamang gamitin dito.”
(Our problem is that our economy does not have the capacity to provide jobs. This is proven by the 7,000 to 10,000 Filipinos abroad. What should be done to create jobs? First, strengthen our industries. Secondly, let us create machineries needed by our industries so we wouldn’t have to import them.)
“Alam niyo, nakakalungkot talaga 'yong gano’n kasi lalung-lalo na ang tinatamaan ng mga endong 'yan ay mga kapwa nating 'di nakatapos, 'di nag-graduate, wala tayong degree at tsaka mostly diyan ay mahihirap… Bakit parang ibang-iba tayo sa lipunan, na ang sahod natin, hanggang gano’n lang at hanggang 6 months lang tayo nagtatrabaho? Hindi tayo puwede doon sa marangal na trabaho. Alam niyo, kung papalarin tayo, isa 'yan sa ating tutuldukan at hihimayin, at titignan natin dahil ‘yan ang pinakamalaking problema ng lipunan natin.”
(You know, it’s saddening because the people affected by endo are mostly those who did not graduate, who do not have degrees, and those who are poor… How come we have different status in society, that some of us only have 6 months to work? We cannot have work with dignity. You know, if I am fortunate enough, this is one of the things that I would put a stop to, and we will review this because this is the biggest problem of our society.)
“Ako po ay nagtuturo ng labor law sa 3 unibersidad at kitang-kita ko kung paano ang problema sa ating batas sa endo. Kami po ay nagsusulong sa Federation of Free Workers na labanan ang endo. Kasama [namin] ang Nagkaisa labor coalition at mayroon kaming proposal na pinasa na sa House of Representatives subalit 3 taon na, 'di pa pinasa sa Senado – ‘yong Senate Bill [No.] 1826 [or] strengthening the right to security of tenure or An End of Endo Act. Dapat ang isa ditong babaguhin ‘yong penalty sa batas, sapagkat sa kasalukuyang batas, Article 288 ng Labor Code, ang penalty ay P1,000 lamang hanggang P10,000. Kung 1,000 ang mga workers mo nasa labor-only contracting, piso-piso lang ang penalty. Kaya dapat, baguhin natin ang batas ‘yan para maging deterrent sa mga employer na mag-engage sa labor-only contracting na 5-5-5."
(I teach labor law in 3 universities and I can see very well the problem with our laws when it comes to endo. Us in the Federation of Free Workers are pushing to fight endo. We are with the Nagkaisa labor coalition when we supported the bill that has been passed in the House of Representatives, but remains pending in the Senate for 3 years now – Senate Bill No. 1826 or strengthening the right to security of tenure or An End of Endo Act. One of the provisions is to amend the penalties, because under the current law or Article 288 of the Labor Code, the penalty is only from P1,000 to P10,000. So if you have 1,000 workers under a labor-only contracting scheme, the penalty is too small. We need to amend that so it would be a deterrent for employers to engage in labor-only contracting and 5-5-5 schemes.)
“Atin pong balangkasin itong contractualization na ating amendahan po sa Senado. Dahil makikita po natin na ang contractualization ay mayroon dalawang punto na ating dapat balangkasin. Unang-una po ang short-term or seasonal job, at ito pong long-term job. Kailangan po, ang short-term or seasonal job ay mapaloob din ito sa contractualization at ‘yong long-term job, kailangan tapusin na natin itong endo na ito contractualization dahil nawawala po ang mga benefits dito like housing benefits, like insurance benefits, PhilHealth benefits, at maternity leave at iba pang absence of leave at 13th month pay… Of course, living wage ang kailangan na maipataas ang kanilang mga sahod.”
(We will plot out this contractualization so we can amend it in the Senate. We can see that contractualization has two points. First is short-term or seasonal job and the long-term job. The short-term or seasonal job must be placed under contractualization, while we must end contractualization in long-term jobs because it means the loss of benefits like on housing, insurance, PhilHealth, maternity leave, leave of absence, and 13th month pay… Of course, we also need a living wage and an increase in wages.)
“Kaya maraming contractual employees, kaya maraming agencies diyan dahil kokonti lang ang trabaho na available. We should have to create more jobs. At ito sa pamamagitan nga ng OFW Investment Fund na magsisilbing capital mag-create ng jobs para maging puhunan. Like for instance, South Cotabato, ang daming mga saging doon. Kung may puhunan tayo, pupuwede tayo magtayo ng ketchup factory, mag-employ ng regular workers.”
(There are many contractual employees and agencies is that there are only a few jobs available. We should create more jobs. And one way is through establishing the OFW Investment Fund that would serve as capital to create jobs. Like for instance, in South Cotabato, there are a lot of bananas there. If we have capital, we can build a ketchup factory and employ regular workers.)
Nasabi na po nila lahat: Lahat po kami dito ay against contractualization. Pero dito, dapat nating dagdagan ang trabaho. So paano po natin dadagdagan ang trabaho sa mga manggagawa? The foundation of the government, which is the barangay. If the barangay is weak, the administration is weak. If the barangay is strong, the administration is strong. Nakikita natin sa kaMindanaoan, lalung-lalo na ang southern Philippines, walang ilaw, walang tubig, walang school, walang hospital, walang livelihood… We will not rely on the national government. Kung kinakailangan, we have to do something outside of the box, [kung] paano tayo mag-introduce ng investment through micro-financing dito sa lahat ng mga mamamayang Pilipinas sa iba’t ibang barangay.”
(They have all said it: We are all against contractualization. But we need to create more jobs. How do we create more jobs for our workers? The foundation of the government, which is the barangay. If the barangay is weak, the administration is weak. If the barangay is strong, the administration is strong. We can see that in Mindanao, especially in southern Philippines, there is no electricity, water, schools, hospitals, and livelihood…. We will not rely on the national government. If we needed, we have to do something out of the box, like introducing investment through micro-financing for Filipinos in different barangays.)
“Nasabi na po nilang lahat. Napakagagaling ng aking mga kasama. Ang kailangan po natin dito ngayon ay political will kung papaano natin tatapusin ang endo na 'yan. Ako mismo po, sawang-sawa na ako sa sigaw ng ating mga manggagawa. Ako ay nasa Labor Party Philippines. Ang tanging solusyon, iboto natin lahat ng mga nandito sa harap natin dahil ito po ang tanging paraan para matapos na ang contractualization na ‘yan."
(They have said everything. My colleagues here are all excellent. What we now need is political will to end endo. I am tired of hearing the cries of our laborers. I am part of the Labor Party Philippines. The only solution to end contractualization is to vote for all of the people here in front of you.) – Rappler.com