MANILA — Contractualization in labor will stop when more jobs become available for Filipinos, senatorial aspirants said during Sunday's "Harapan 2019: The ABS-CBN Senatorial Town Hall Debate."
Eleven candidates faced Bayan Patroller Leoniber Faciol, who asked them what they would do to halt the rampant contractualization of laborers in Navotas, most of whom, he said, receive less than the minimum wage.
Ending "endo" or hiring workers in 5-month-long cycles at a time to avoid granting them regular status, is one of the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Marcelino Arias of Labor Party Philippines suggested that employers apply a "profit-sharing" scheme to motivate employees and possibly elevate them into middle class status.
"Para magkaroon ng trabaho, simple lamang, alisin ang kontraktuwalisasyon para sila ay maging eksperto. At profit sharing para 'yung mga manggagawa magsisikap para mapaunlad ang kanilang kompanya... So ang middle class dadami" he said.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Baldevarona of Filipino Family Party said he understands why employers sometimes resort to contractualization.
"Kung titingnan po natin, negosyante ako at sa aking perspective... hindi naman puwede na lahat ng trabaho magiging long term... Hihimayin natin 'yan kung pano natin poprotektahan 'yung mga short-term para nakakontrata sila ng tama," said Baldevarona.
Jesus Caceres, an independent candidate, said he will push for the creation of more jobs in the rural areas of different regions.
"Mag-create tayo ng mga trabaho sa mga bayan, probinsiya, at region para magkaroron ng kompetensiya para alagaan ng mga employer ang kanilang empleyado... May mga negosyante kasing takot malugi kaya tinatapos agad nila ang kontrata kaya nakakaawa naman po ang employees," Caceres said.
Labor Party Philippines' Melchor Chavez meanwhile believes that early retirement will solve the problem of endo as this will make entrepreneurs out of early retirees.
"Sa tingin ko... early retirement. Pag 20 years na kailangan na po umalis at magnegosyo," Chavez suggested.
Independent candidate Charlie Gaddi called for industrialization of Philippines. He also said the country should develop its own machines so the country can do away with importation.
"Ang problema natin ngayon ang ating ekonomiya... Palakasin natinn ang ating industriya. Gumawa tayo ng makinarya para hindi na natin kailangan mag-import," he said.
Another independent candidate Emily Mallillin said she will simply "put an end" to contractualization.
Labor Party Philippines' Jose Matula suggested a stiffer penalty against erring employers caught engaging in illegal labor practices.
"Kailangn natin ipasa ang security of tenure bill. Currently ang penalty ay P1,000-P10,000 lamang. Dapat taasan para deterrent sa mga employer," Matula said.
Labor Party Philippines bets Jose Matula and Luther Meniano, Gerald Arcega, Shariff Albani, as well as indpendatent candidate Allan Montaño all said creation of jobs and investment in underdeveloped areas will solve endo.
Last month, the Labor department and employers groups agreed to a voluntary regularization plan, but labor groups said this was just a ploy to preclude the passage of the security of tenure bill.