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Duterte seeks more time to study EO on contractualization

President Rodrigo Duterte has asked for more time to study the proposed executive order against contractualization, according to members of labor groups who met with him in Malacañang on Wednesday.

Drafted by labor groups and endorsed by management organizations, the proposed EO would give workers security of tenure, self-organization, collective bargaining, and peaceful concerted activities as mandated by the Constitution.

“Duterte promised endo (end of contract) and contractualization would be ended during the May 2016 elections. Obviously, he is finding the road to the signing replete with obstacles,” Nagkaisa Labor Coalition chairman Michael Mendoza told GMA News Online on Thursday.

“But we reminded our President of the pitfalls and dead ends for millions of endos and contractuals. Our President asked for more time,” Mendoza noted.

“He wants a small study group this March and we will engage this. He said we will meet again in March with this study group and we will engage him,” he Mendoza said.

Duterte wanted his legal team to review the proposal, Kilusang Mayo Uno secretary general Jerome Adonis said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed Duterte’s action.

“I was made to understand that he asked for more time to issue the executive order on endo and that's all I was informed by the head of protocol. He's studying the matter more thoroughly,” Roque said in a press briefing.

In a separate statement, the Presidential Communications Operations Office said that among the topics discussed in the meeting were issues related to contractualization, wage setting, government cash subsidy, workers’ representation in tripartite bodies, recruitment and facilitation fees, and freedom of association in economic zones.

The labor groups that participated in the dialogue were KMU, Nagkaisa, Associated Labor Unions, Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, Partido Manggagawa, National Labor Union, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, and National Confederation of Labor.

Also present were representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Finance, and Department of Budget Management. —VDS, GMA News