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PROTECT RIGHTS, PROMOTE WELFARE, OF WORKERS – CASTELO

“Workers are the backbone of business. Business is the heartbeat of progress. Progress is the footprint of a world-class society. Therefore, a world-class society protects the rights, and promotes the welfare, of its workers.”

This according to Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, Chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development and Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs.

During the graduation of more than 500 participants from various parts of Quezon City from the skills training conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Castelo shared that the House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading House Bill 6908, or “An Act Strengthening the Security of Tenure of Workers, Amending for the Purpose Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the ‘Labor Code of the Philippines.

“This bill would realize the campaign promise of President Rodrigo Duterte to end “endo’,” Castelo said.

“This measure would ban hiring workers for limited periods of time, or what is known as “fixed-term” labor contracts,” Castelo added. In practice, this means hiring a person for the same job for several times, but only offering a 5-month contract for each time, a scheme more popularly known as “5-5-5”.

“This proposal would change the definition of “prohibited” arrangements or “labor only” contracting,” Castelo explained. A contractor is considered “labor only” or illegal if an employer has not enough capital or equipment to undertake the business or its operation, has no control over his or her worker’s duties or functions, or if the contractor’s business or operation is directly linked to that of the principal business.

Workers are the backbone of business. Business is the heartbeat of progress. Progress is the footprint of a world-class society.

“The responsibility of the government is to provide security to its people, and this includes the security of tenure of its workers. This is security from being removed as an employee only because an employer wants to avoid paying the rightful salary or evade giving the rightful benefits. This is security of a source of income or a means of livelihood. This is security to plan a brighter future or dream a better life,” Castelo concluded.

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