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On Labor Day, Duterte to 'remain committed' in helping workers; Robredo calls out unjust labor practices

By NICK GARCIA Published May 01, 2022 1:26 pm

On Labor Day, May 1, President Rodrigo Duterte said his administration, though "coming nearly to a close," will "remain committed" in providing Filipino workers "opportunities they need to realize their full potential."

In his Labor Day message, Duterte commended the Filipino workers' "great passion, integrity, and professionalism they demonstrate in everything that they do."

"These qualities have not only brought economic gains to our country," he said, "but have also been a source of immense pride and encouragement among our people."

Duterte, saying he welcomes the yearly occasion "with much fervor," noted that the day should remind everybody to "overcome the challenges by recognizing the rights of our workers and reassessing the system that may hinder their growth and development."

"It is my hope that this day recharges everyone as you continue to work for yourselves, your families and our nation," Duterte said.

During his 2016 campaign, Duterte promised to end contractualization. He, however, vetoed the security of tenure bill in 2019 despite certifying it as urgent in 2018.

In vetoing the bill, Duterte said it "unduly broadens the scope and definition of prohibited labor-only contracting," noting there are forms of contractualization that are "not particularly unfavorable to employees involved."

"I believe the sweeping expansion of the definition of labor-only contracting destroys the delicate balance and will place capital and management at an impossibly difficult predicament with adverse consequences to the Filipino workers in the long term," Duterte said in a statement in July 2019.

Last April 7, acting palace spokesman Martin Andanar said Duterte hopes the Congress would "rectify the vetoed provisions as he remains committed to eradicating all forms of abusive employment practices." Andanar's statement comes after vice presidential candidate Senate President Tito Sotto took a swipe at Duterte's "promise" during his campaign sortie with presidential candidate Sen. Ping Lacson in Cebu.

Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, called for an end to unjust labor practices in her Labor Day message.

"Sa pagsusulong ng makatwirang pagpapasahod, proteksiyon sa pang-aabuso, at pagbaklas sa mga luma at bulok na kalakaran, matatanggal natin ang mga sagabal sa ating tuloy-tuloy na kaunlaran," Robredo said.

The presidential candidate, who vows to provide a P100-billion stimulus fund for micro, small and medium enterprises if elected on May 9, urged Filipinos to come together for a brighter future free of hunger, violence, and corruption.

"Alalahanin natin na ang sinumang naghahanap-buhay nang buong puso at katapatan ay nag-aambag hindi lang sa ekonomiya," Robredo said, "kundi pati sa pag-abot ng mga pangarap, pagpapatibay ng kapayapaan at katatagan sa mga komunidad, at pagpapalakas sa mga nasa laylayan."