The Manila Times : Marcos vows to end 'endo'

24 February 2022

By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times

FORMER senator and presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday that he will end the practice of labor contractualization, also known as "end-of-contract" or "endo" if elected.

Ending endo was among the unfulfilled campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Marcos said he will make it happen by prioritizing the passage of the Security of Tenure Act.

"Kailangan pag-aralan nang husto kung paano ito i-aamend na talagang magbibigay proteksyon ito sa ating mga manggagawa para maisabatas ito (We need to study how we can amend the concerned provisions and ensure that a bill protecting workers would be passed into law)," Marcos said in a meeting with officials of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and Associated Labor Unions (ALU).

In 2019, Duterte vetoed a bill that would give workers security of tenure.

Marcos explained that Duterte vetoed the measure for unduly broadening the scope of labor-only contracting, adding the bill should instead be amended to ensure it would protect workers' rights.

"Kailangang ayusin natin dahil ang ating mga kababayan, napipilitang magtrabaho overseas dahil mababa at hindi maayos ang labor conditions dito (We need to fix this because Filipinos are forced to work overseas because of unfair labor conditions here)," he added.

Marcos told TUCP and ALU officials that all agencies dealing with the labor sector should be streamlined.

"I will have to put the layout in detail because the issue has become so involved. Maraming dapat ayusin, structurally maraming dapat ayusin. Dapat i-streamline ang mga agencies dahil masyado nang marami [ang mga opisina]. Ang mga workers natin, nalilito kung saan sila dapat lumapit (There are a lot to fix structurally. We need to streamline the agencies because there are way too many offices. Our workers were confused where to go)," Marcos said.

He added he would support the creation of a separate department for migrant workers.

The standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas stressed that the end goal should be to make overseas employment merely an option for Filipinos.

TUCP party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza lamented that OFWs have to go through an unnecessary tedious process before they can work abroad.

Mendoza, also the TUCP president, raised the need to boost the manpower of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration to better serve the needs of 10 million migrant Filipino workers.

The TUCP, the country's largest labor group, earlier endorsed the candidacy of Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said there was an overwhelming response from their 1.2 million-strong members to support the UniTeam tandem.

He said the TUCP's decision to back the Marcos-Duterte-Carpio team was reached after a series of nationwide consultations with member labor groups and rank-and-file workers.

"The vote advantage of Mr. Marcos and Ms. Duterte-Carpio and with those four other pairs of presidential and vice presidential aspirants was very wide. It was an overwhelmingly majority decision in all caucuses held differently in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao," said Tanjusay.

Founded in 1975 by 23 labor federations, the TUCP is the Philippines' largest alliance of labor groups with members coming from major industries such as service, agriculture, and manufacturing.