DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 May) – The Philippines will adopt International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 151, or the Labor Relations (Public Service) Convention, which provides for protection of public workers’ right to organize and set procedures for determining conditions of employment.
Duterte made the announcement during the 2017 National Labor Day Celebration at the People’s Park in Davao City Monday evening.
“May this serve as a symbol of government’s commitment to continuously uphold the aspiration of a corrupt-free civil service,” he said.
Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III told reporters that Duterte’s decision to adopt the 1978 ILO Convention 151 stemmed from the clamor of government workers to abolish contractualizaton in government agencies.
“Yung (ILO Convention) 151, has a bearing on public employees na dapat wala na ring contractual, wala ring casual, wala ring job orders. Now, the President said he will adopt yung ILO convention 151, and then he will refer it to Senate for ratification,” he said.
Once ratified by the Senate, he said, a law has to be passed to give domestic effect to the Convention.
(It is the Executive Department that either ratifies or accedes to a treaty such as the ILO Convention. Ratification means a state is among the signatories to a treaty. Accession means a state is not a signatory to a treaty but accepts the opportunity to become part of such treaty. In either case, under the 1987 Constitution, the Executive Department is required to submit the treaty to the Senate for the concurrence of at least two-thirds of its members for it to become valid and effective. – Ed.)
Part II, Article. 4, of the Convention states: “Public employees shall enjoy adequate protection against acts of anti-union discrimination in respect of their employment”.
Article 5 provides that “protection shall apply more particularly to make the employment of public employees subject to the condition that they shall not join or shall relinquish membership of a public employees’ organization; cause the dismissal of or otherwise prejudice a public employee by reason of membership of public employees’ organization or because of participation in the normal activities such an organization.”
Part 4, Art. 7 sets procedures for determining terms and conditions of employment. It provides for methods that “will allow representatives of public employees to participate in the determination of these matters.”
Duterte said he will sign an executive order “directing the strict implementation of existing laws against ENDO (end of contract) and labor-only contracting.”
But the president appealed to workers to give his administration time to fulfill his campaign promise to put an end to contractualizaton, emphasizing it cannot be implemented easily since they are still in process of reconciling what to do with businesses that are seasonal in nature.
“I say now, I stand firm in my conviction to end ENDO. The Labor Code guarantees all workers have the right to security of tenure. This has to be strictly enforced,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)