An end to 'endo': House OKs security of tenure bill

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 29 2018 06:27 PM

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading the proposed measure to end labor only contracting, or "endo."

House Bill 6908 or the Security of Tenure Bill, got the support of 199 congressmen, while 7 congressmen rejected the bill.

All 7 no votes came from the Makabayan bloc.

Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas, one of those who voted against the measure, said the bill does not offer a solution to end contractualization, but aggravates it instead.

"Walang iniaalok na solusyon ang HB 6908 para wakasan ang kontraktwalisasyon bagkus ay lalo pa nitong pinalala at niligalisa ang mapagsamantalang iskemang ito," she said, explaining her vote.

"Sa pamamagitan ng bagong probisyon na ipapasok sa Labor Code hinggil sa licensing ng job contractors at outsourcing firms (Article 106-A), ibig sabihin pinapayagan ang relasyong principal-contractor-employer. Anu’t anupaman, ligal pa rin ang kontraktwalisasyon sa ilalim ng panukalang batas dahil may pagkilala sa job contractor/ middle man."

"Hindi po ang House Bill 6908 ang katuparan sa pagwakas ng mapagsamantalang kontraktwalisasyon sa ating bayan. Sa halip, ito ay puspos ng mga probisyong madaling paikutan ng mga negosyante at korporasyong sumisiil sa karapatan ng mga manggagawa at humuhuthot ng pinakamalaking tubo sa kanilang pinagpaguran," Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate added.

This bill is in substitution of House Bills Numbered 55, 76, 170, 341, 556, 563, 709, 712, 895, 916, 1045, 1208, 1351, 1563, 1837, 1857, 1910, 2389, 3556, 3769, 3802, 4443, 4444, 5130, 5264 and 5899.

It was referred to the Rules Committee on January 15 and calendared January 16. It was sponsored January 16 in the plenary by Congressmen Randolph Ting, Tom Villarin and Vicente Veloso. 

It was subjected to interpellations January 23 from congressmen Arlene Brosas, Lito Atienza, Ariel Casilao and Emmy de Jesus.

The bill seeks to address the problems of labor only contracting and endo or end of contract. 

It seeks to prohibit labor only contracting and defines its existence when any of the following is present: the contractor does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises, among others; the contractor has no control over the workers methods and means ofaccomplishing their work; the contractor’s workers are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of the employer.

It introduces a provision requiring all persons or entities doing business as job contractors to obtain a license from the DOLE, listing requirements for such licensing, determining the period of validity of the license and stating the responsibility of the licensee to submit an annual report.

It declares that violation of substantive or procedural due process is equivalent to illegal dismissal. In addition, the entitlements of an illegally dismissed employee are broadened by ensuring the payment of social welfare contributions and benefits to said employee.

It simplifies and clarifies the classification of employees by 1) mandating regular employment as the general rule and 2) prohibiting fixed term employment except in cases of overseas Filipino workers, workers on probation, relievers who are temporary replacements of absent regular employees whose engagements shall not exceed 6 months, project employees and seasonal employees.

It provides that the rights and benefits of relievers, project and seasonal employees are at par with regular employees, consistent with the principle that all workers must be treated alike both as to rights enjoyed and obligations assumed.

It also provides that a probationary employee who has rendered at least 1 month of service is entitled to a termination pay of 1/2 month salary.

The bill, likewise, provides for administrative penalties of a fine and possible closure of business for those engaging in prohibited end of contract arrangements and labor only contracting. at present there is no imposable penalty for engaging in labor only contracting except the simple declaration of ostensible employees of the contractor as employees of the principal employer.

The proposal seeks to amend Presidential Decree 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines.

Ending contractualization or "endo" is a campaign promise of President Rodrigo Duterte.