Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos urges fellow chief executives of local government units (LGUs) to be more mindful of workers’ rights and security of tenure, saying that the job order status of employees or “endo” is rampant even among government agencies.
“Ipagtanggol natin ang ating mga trabahador,” she stressed. “Alam naman nating sinasamantala ang ating mga kabataan. Many of them end up with ‘endo’ jobs – yung ‘555’ na parang sardinas naman ang ginagawa sa kanila. Five to six months lang yung trabaho. Kawawa naman,” she lamented, “hindi naman po pwede iyon, at labag talaga sa Labor Code.”
During her time as Representative of the Second District of Ilocos Norte (1998-2007), she filed a bill that would put a stop to “endo” or the exploitation of workers done by companies or agencies when they terminate their workers before their sixth month of employment to avoid having to regularize them as mandated by the Labor Code.
“Kaya lang, pinalitan noong panahon ni Mrs. Aquino, tapos pinayagan nang [tuloy-tuloy] ganoon. Doon sa original na Labor Code, ilegal talaga itong pagsasamantala sa ating mga empleyado,” she added.
Governor Marcos acknowledged that “endo” and the seemingly endless job order status of longtime workers have been widespread even among LGUs and other national agencies. She pointed out that lawmakers both national and local invest more time in coming up with laws or ordinances that would legalize contractualization instead of pressing for more employee benefits and security of tenure.
“Ang gobyerno mismo ay isa sa pinakamalaking violators nitong Labor Code na ‘to. May mga empleyado na 10 years o 11 years na pero hindi pa nagiging permanente. Job order pa rin, Casual pa rin. Wala ring kasiguraduhan sa trabaho.
“Alamin natin nang maigi kung ano’ng dapat gawin at ipagtanggol natin ang ating mga trabahador,” she urged.
However, she also maintained that employers should not be taken out of the picture, saying, “Hindi rin naman ako sang-ayon na wala nang contractualization. Alam naman natin na may mga janitorial service, security, mga laundry na pwedeng i-outsource.”
She also mentioned instances of seasonal and short-term employment in various sectors, naming the field of agriculture as an example, where the need for additional manpower can be seasonal, especially during harvesting and planting season.
“Huwag namang saksakan nang sobrang bigat na regulations ang mga employer na mapipilitan pa magsara dahil nga sa mga required benefits na ibibigay sa mga trabahador.”
Governor Marcos made these statements while at Alcala, Pangasinan, for the Nateng Town Festival on May 2.