On the eve of his final State of the Nation (SONA) address before the joint Houses of Congress, numerous labor organizations are calling President Duterte out for failing to fulfill his promise of putting an end to the nefarious practice called ENDO which most big local corporations observe to preserve their respective profit margins.
The promise to end ENDO was one of the linchpins of candidate Duterte’s successful presidential campaign in 2016 which captured the fancy of the suffering millions to no avail.
“Mr. Duterte’s ‘end ENDO’ pledge has sadly turned out to be a farce,” according to the Partidong Manggagawa.
However, Malacanang said the anti-ENDO measure is no longer a priority of President Duterte since his advisers could not seem to reconcile the conflict between labor and big business.
Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III earlier said he believes the President could still approve the security of tenure bill before his term ends in June 2022.
In 2019, Bello said the President vetoed this same security of tenure bill which would have protected workers against unfair practices.
“It is not much of a priority now,” Undersecretary Jing Paras, presidential legislative assistant and adviser for political affairs, was quoted last week as saying during a Palace press briefing.
For the uninitiated, ENDO is the slang term for “end of contract” referring to the short-term contracts (usually for a term of five months) given to millions of Filipino workers, which allows their employers to escape giving them full benefits as a regularized employee as provided by law.
Under the Labor Code, an individual automatically attains regular status after working for six months for a company, whereupon he is entitled to 13th month pay, SSS, Philhealth and leave credits.
To avoid this, many companies end the employment contracts of their employees after five months; and then rehire them after a few weeks so that they won’t have to be regularized.
Photo: Philippine Star