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Roque: Duterte may sign EO vs. endo on or before May 1

President Rodrigo Duterte may sign an executive order against contractualization on or before Labor Day, his spokesperson said Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang has yet to come up with a final version of the executive order to be signed by Duterte in response to the labor groups' call for a ban on contractualization in the country.

Labor groups had said they have been invited to the executive order's signing later today, but it had been canceled.

"I can only surmise that the final version of the EO has not been agreed upon by both labor, management and government. It's a tripartite document which has to be agreed upon. Possibly they don't have a final version yet," Roque said at a news conference.

Ending contractualization was one of Duterte's promises during the 2016 election campaign, a vow Roque said the President "wants to deliver to the people very soon."

"I would suppose because it is a promise given by the President to labor groups that it would be an EO that will side with the labor forces," the Palace official said.

On April 2, the Palace said the government cannot meet the demand of labor groups for a total ban on contractualization because such would need legislation.

“If you want something like a total ban on contractualization, you need a law to repeal or amend that particular provision of the Labor Code," former Senior Deputy Executive Secretary and now Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

Guevarra said an executive order is meant only to supplement or give implementing details of what the law provides, "but it cannot add or subtract or substantially alter what the law provides."

"That is really more for Congress to do," he added.

Issued in 1974, Presidential Decree 442 or the Labor Code contains provisions allowing contracting and subcontracting arrangements subject to the regulatory powers of the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III came out in March 2017 with Department Order 174 that prohibits illegal contracting agreements, including the “endo” and “555” schemes.

Duterte, in a speech in Davao City on February 26, suggested that he cannot force employers from regularizing contractual workers even as he made clear the need for a compromise that is "acceptable to everybody."

Roque, however, declined to comment on what kind of compromise the President was looking into. —ALG, GMA News