Duterte’s veto makes us republic of ‘endo’
After an overnight flip-flop by Malacañang on whether a presidential veto is coming out or not, the security of tenure (SOT) bill was finally declared dead on arrival, right before it lapsed into law. We did not expect that even a weak version of the SOT bill would suffer judicial killing by President Duterte. The SOT bill is just the latest victim of slaying in this country.
Between labor’s demand to end “endo” and the employers’ call to veto it, Mr. Duterte has clearly surrendered to the capitalist blackmail. We do not accept the President’s excuse that employers can outsource jobs even if they are directly related and necessary to their business. That simply opens the floodgates to the abusive system of contractualization that is happening today. Contrary to the wild claim of employers that the SOT bill is superfluous because endo had been ended with Department Order No. 174 and Executive Order No. 51, numerous loopholes still allow the proliferation of contractual workers.
Without a strong anti-endo law, all types of work in the country are a candidate for various forms of contractual employment arrangements. Businesses may grow from this exploitative model, but not the living standard of workers that social justice demands. It is as clear as day that President Duterte wants to maintain the country’s exploitative yet competitive status quo—our being a republic of endo.
Workers will not forget this definitive betrayal by Mr. Duterte of his promise to end endo. Very early in his administration, he forcefully warned employers that he would kill them if they continued with the practice of endo (“Digong: End ‘endo,’ or I kill you,” 8/5/16, Inquirer.net). But now, three years into his term, he is parroting the lame capitalist alibi that businesses will die if workers are made regular. Mr. Duterte’s promise to end endo is dead.
In the class war between workers and capitalists on contractualization, Mr. Duterte has revealed that he is an enemy of the working class and the CEO of the capitalist class.
The labor movement should now prepare to campaign for a strong version of the SOT bill in the new Congress. We need a law that will ensure that regular jobs are the norm in employment relations. No ifs, no buts.
chair, Partido Manggagawa,
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