Hold more dialogues to address contractualization: ILO

MANILA The Philippine government and stakeholders must hold more dialogues to address labor challenges generated by contractualization, an official of the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Tuesday.

"You must have observed (that) there are a lot of discussions with the employers' organizations. (But) it takes time, it needs social dialogue," ILO Philippines Director Khalid Hassan said in a press conference.

While a lot has to be done, Hassan noted that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is showing commitment to address the issue, admitting that a solution cannot be conceived in a short period of time.

"Some of our constituents may still be not happy with the actions taken by them (the government), but this is the first way towards going in that direction," he said.

"First, they took time to understand the issue, what is the issue, what can be done, what are the legal implication of those things, and then they are coming up with a strategy," he added.

The latest development on the government's actions regarding the subject was on May 1, when President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order that puts an end to illegal contractualization.

Several groups, however, have spurned the document, saying it lacked "teeth."

At present, the ILO is supporting DOLE through engagement and discussions of non-standard form of employment (NSE).

NSE, an umbrella term for different arrangements that deviate from standard employment, includes part-time and on-call work; multi-party employment relationship; disguised employment; and temporary employment or contractualization.

"That support is being provided and we are moving in that direction," Hassan said.

In the 2015 Tripartite Meeting of Experts on Non-Standard Forms of Employment, the ILO convened member-states and urged the crafting of policy solutions to address decent work deficits associated with NSE.

While NSE had been a practice for a number of years as it provides flexibility to both employers and workers, there is greater insecurity posed for the latter.

In 2015, the main recommendations on NSE was to devise measures plugging regulatory gaps; strengthening collective bargaining or building the capacity of unions to ensure workers are well-represented; and strengthening social protection regardless of the worker's employment arrangement. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency