Nograles, committee to address labor, employment issues head-on

THE new leader of the House Committee on Labor and Employment has vowed to immediately tackle the proposed “Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act.”

Rizal Province’s Representative Fidel Nograles made the statement after being elected as new chair of the labor committee.

“We will also include in the discussion the demand for high wages amid the increasing prices of food and other basic commodities,” he said.

Nograles also said that his committee will address several issues to improve the country’s labor environment and root out labor abuses.

Last month the International Trade Union Confederation’s Global Rights Index showed that the Philippines is among the 10 “worst countries for working people.”

Meanwhile, there are six filed bills which aims to strengthen workers’ right to security of tenure by amending several articles in the Labor Code of the Philippines.

The bills prohibit job contracting, or what is currently termed as “lawful” contractualization which, in effect, does away with the registration of contractors as allowed by the Labor Code and by the issuances of the labor department.

The measures also prohibit the direct hiring of contractuals by principal employers, subcontracting, fixed-term employment, and the use of labor cooperatives.

Meanwhile, Nograles vowed to take a more dynamic stance, as he takes on his role as chairperson of the House Committee on Labor and Employment.

“We are committed to having an open ear, an open heart, an open mind, and giving equal opportunity to all, as we tackle issues regarding the welfare of our workers, [including] the challenges they confront amid the pandemic, and the rising cost of goods,” he said.

The solon also thanked labor groups that have welcomed his appointment.

The Philippine Trade and General Workers Organization—the largest federation of workers in the country; and the Federation of Free Workers, which has more than 200,000 members, have expressed support for his appointment.

Said groups have supported Nograles’s various candidacies since 2019.

The lawmaker and Harvard-trained lawyer is an advocate for beneficial labor rights, free legal services, and advancement of marginalized sectors.