If Duterte wants to end “endo” contracts in private firms, he should first end it in government. This was Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto’s challenge to President Rodrigo Duterte who had said he would shut down private businesses that still practiced “endo” contracts.
“Endo” is short for “end of contract” which has become the regular practice of many private companies. These companies keep most of their employees on a contractual employment status and end such contract after 5 months without re-hiring them. This saves money by preventing them to raise salaries and pay for the employment benefits of employees who should be regularized once they render 6 months of service.
But the problem is about 120,000 government employees are presently contractual. They could either be regularized or terminated. But Recto said these workers ought to be absorbed as regular employees of government, and be so before Duterte could force private companies to comply with his “endo” ultimatum.
For starters, the government should “open a pathway to regular employment for thousands of casuals who are eligible for permanent civil service,” Recto said.
“The fact is, government is one of the biggest buyers of outsourced labor in the country today,” Recto revealed. And the government should start making an inventory of all temporary government workers, including people hired through so-called “job orders” and “emergency hiring.” While at it, the government could also re-examine the “memorandum of agreement” scheme. All these recruitments make sure there is no opportunity for job regularization.
What Recto suggested was this: government workers “who have been in the service for at least five years, who are civil service-eligible, and whose work has been rated excellent,” should be absorbed into regular employment.
According to the senator, there were 21,315 government contractual workers in 2010 as per Civil Service Commission data. Government casual workers were 97,951—or something like 120,000 total employees not regularized. But this does not include workers hired through job orders, or those given salaries using funds from the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of various government agencies. There are also sub-contract workers like maintenance and utility workers or security guards who are also not included.
Recto said that in 2014 it cost the national government P11.6 billion getting outsourced general services for janitorial, security personnel and environmental and sanitary purposes. Salaries for contractual and casual employees totaled P9.6 billion, Recto added.
But local government had bigger expenditure for the same. About P10 billion were spent for pays of casual workers and P3.2 billion for contractual workers. For emergency, part-time and substitute employees, P623 million was spent.
Recto’s challenge to Duterte came after the President said on August 1 that he would be “unforgiving” to employers practicing endo.
“Huwag na ninyo akong hintayin na mahuli ko kayo because I will be unforgiving. You will not only lose your money, you will lose your pants. No tolerance ako ditto,” Duterte told the media.
“My message to them is very simple: Do not wait for us to inspect. Kapag nalaman ko, I will just simply close your plant and you would always find a thousand reasons to do it, believe me,” he added.