With only two weeks left before the elections, the six presidential candidates gave their best shot in the last leg of PiliPinas Debates 2016 held at PHINMA University of Pangasinan, April 24.
The presidential aspirants did their best to win the nation’s vote by answering questions regarding different issues in the country from the West Philippine Sea dispute to the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law.
When asked about unemployment, all the six candidates agreed to fight against contractualization and to protect labor rights.
As a former labor lawyer, Vice President Jejomar Binay said that an employee must be permanent in his job once hired.
“Hindi ka dapat tanggalin pagkatapos ng limang buwan dahil pagpasok na pagka-pasok mo permanent ka na….Sa lahat ng pagkakataon, ang mangggagawa ay dapat matanggap lahat ng biyayang isinasaad ng ating batas.”
Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas admitted that there were “loopholes” in the law and guarantees to fix them when elected.
“Ang loophole ay nasa batas, ang ating DOLE may mga memorandum na, may mga kautusan na ang DOLE pero ito ay hindi naipapatupad dahil kulang, may butas sa batas.”
For Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, building and utilization of infrastructures can solve country’s unemployment.
“Una gagawa tayo ng maraming infrastructure: roads, bridges, seaports, airports, urban transit systems…Kung gagawa ka ng trabaho lalapit ang tao sa’yo, para yung milyon nating graduates ma-absorb sila agad.”
Presidential polls front-runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said that he will call on the House Speaker, Senate President, and majority of congressmen to pass a law to end labor contractualization.
“I will call the Liberal Party congressmen, you pass this bill immediately. I need it, first week of my administration. Ganoon lang, gawin ninyo.”
Like the rest of the candidates, Senator Grace Poe agrees to have a law that will stop contractualization among workers.
“Ang ‘endo’ ay hindi makatarungan… ang mga tao ay hindi makina, hindi sila basta-basta pinagtatrabaho tapos itatapon na lang ‘pag hindi kailangan. Kailangan talaga natin implementahin ang batas na bawal ang contractualization.”
A survey in May 2014 shows one out of three workers in establishments with at least 20 employees are non-regulars. One impact of contractualization is the dwindling of labor union density – in 2013, only 1265 unions were registered, the lowest since 1976. V.A.F.