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Contractualization ‘not unfair’ to workers, Lopez says

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez defended contractualization, saying it was “not unfair” to workers since the current arrangement provided for more investments, and thus more jobs.

In a text message to reporters yesterday, Lopez reiterated his position that there were legitimate ways of contracting work, as indicated in the labor code. In essence, he said there wouldn’t be any jobs to begin with if there were less investments.

This comes amid the labor sector’s call for President Duterte to sign an executive order on contractualization, wherein regular employment would be considered the norm except in some cases.

The President had said he would study the proposal. However, Lopez said not even an executive order could do anything about it.

“We wish to pursue the position that legitimate contractualization is allowed by the labor code. That it is legal and that an EO cannot change that,” he said.

Lopez said that even the President had said that there should be a healthy balance between the flexibility of employers in the status of their workers and the employees’ security of tenure.

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