Press Release
April 21, 2016


To ensure that all workers in the country are paid at least the minimum wage, independent vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said the "Gobyernong may Puso" will crack down on employment agencies and "middlemen" who make unlawful deductions from the salaries of employees, especially minimum wage earners.

"Gusto po namin ma-cover ng minimum wage ang lahat ng nagtatrabaho dito sa ating bansa. Wala dapat tumatanggap ng less than minimum wage dahil napupunta lamang ito sa mga employment agency," said Escudero, who is running with leading presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe, said in a radio interview in Tarlac Wednesday.

According to Escudero, employees seeking jobs through manpower agencies should not be charged a single centavo.

"'Yung komisyon ng mga employment agency kapag naghahanap sila ng trabaho para sa mga Pilipino, dapat maalis 'yun. Dapat nating tanggalin ang mga middle man."

Escudero said the crackdown on employment agencies and labor brokers is part of the Poe administration's plan to impose a strict and general implementation of the minimum wage for workers, particularly those in the private sector.

If the Gobyernong may Puso wins, Escudero said he and Poe will make sure that all workers are paid in accordance with the minimum wage set by government and employers are fined or jailed if found shortchanging their employees.

The current minimum wage for non-agriculture workers in the National Capital Region is P481 a day, which is the highest daily nominal wage rate in the country. The lowest rate for non-agricultural workers is P217, which is in Region 4B, or Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan).

Under Republic Act No. 6727 or the Wage Rationalization Act, as amended by RA 8188, an employer who fails to pay the required minimum wage may be punished with a fine of at least P25,000 to P100,000 and/or imprisonment of at least two years to four years.

At the same time, Escudero said they will also put a stop to the prevalent practice of labor contractualization or the end-of-contract or "endo" scheme which refers to short-term and unprotected temporary work arrangements.

Under such scheme, workers are bound by a five-month timeframe so that companies will not make them regular employees after six months under the existing law.

Escudero said the Poe government will repeal Department Order No. 18, Series of 2011, which he said is being exploited by employers to perpetuate the practice of contractualization.

"Dapat i-end na natin ang end of contract. Dahil dapat may seguridad na trabaho ang ating mga kababayan para makapagplano sila. Maghuhulog ba sila ng bahay? Maghuhulog ba sila ng motor? Magse-save ba sila para sa edukasyon ng kanilang anak?" he pointed out.

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