By LESLIE AQUINO
Thousands of workers from different labor groups and associations will mark today’s observance of Labor Day with protest actions.
The joint Nagkaisa labor coalition and the Kilusang Mayo Uno will march together from Mabuhay Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City to the historic Mendiola Bridge near the gates of Malacanang in Manila to call for an end to contractualization.
“Ang pangakong end endo ay na-Duterte kaya tuloy ang laban ng mga manggagawa,” Nagkaisa spokesman Renato “Ka Rene” Magtubo said in a statement.
Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III had earlier confirmed that there will be no more executive order on contractualization to be signed on Labor Day, saying President Duterte will just certify as a priority bill the proposed Security of Tenure Act pending in Congress.
Magtubo said the chance to make this second Labor Day celebration under the administration more meaningful was lost when the President took a U-turn on contractualization by rejecting the labor sector draft of an EO. “The best that we can see and hear tomorrow are job fairs and fairy tales,” he said.
But Department of Labor and Employment Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod remains confident that the President will still make a significant announcement for workers on Labor Day.
On the other hand, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo does not have high hopes on this announcement from Malacanang. “I don’t know what promises they will make again. The workers already lost their trust on this government,” Pabillo said.
“Duterte has failed the workers. He did not fulfill his promise to end endo. He will not sign any EO to end contractualization. He has passed this over to Congress which is saying it will not happen,” added Pabillo. Endo, he said, is a great “injustice” to the workers. “It is exploiting their labor without giving them security,” Pabillo said.
Other working class issues will be raised in the nationwide rallies such as wage hike, high prices of goods and services, and unemployment.
Meanwhile, more than 140,000 jobs will be made available to job seekers during the simultaneous job and livelihood fairs of the DoLE today.
Maglunsod said 58,171 local and 89,914 overseas jobs are available. “Over and above these numbers, we want to see more jobseekers to be hired on the spot once they apply on May 1. This is why we encourage those seeking employment to take advantage of this opportunity to be HOT on Labor Day,” said Maglunsod.
The Top 10 local jobs are soldiers, production machine operators, masons, customer service representatives, construction workers, carpenters, call center agents, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency agents, production or factory workers, and service crews.
For overseas, the Top 10 are nurses, technicians, construction workers, food and beverage, waiters and waitresses, drivers, cleaners, laborers, tire fitters, and engineers.
The Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan job and livelihood fairs will be held in 37 sites in different parts of the country.