MANILA - A bill ending illegal contractualization could be passed into law in 2 weeks if the House would just adopt the Senate's version that is "palatable to Malacañang," Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said Friday.
The Senate passed on third and final reading its ENDO (end of contract) bill Wednesday, while a counterpart measure has yet to hurdle the House with about 6 session days left before the 17th Congress ends.
"Hopefully tanggapin na lang ng House 'yung version namin para wala nang bicam," Sotto told DZMM's Failon Ngayon, referring to the bicameral conference where the two legislative chambers meet to consolidate their versions.
(Hopefully, the House would just adopt our version so that there would be no need for a bicam.)
"Yung version naman [ng Senate] palatable sa Malacañang. 'Yung House version may kaba ng konti sabi sakin ni [Finance] Sec. Dominguez nung nag-caucus kami," Sotto said.
(The Senate's version is palatable to Malacañang. Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez told me there are some uncertainties with the House version.)
Under the Senate's approved version, companies may only hire contractual employees if the work they ought to do is "seasonal."
"Halimbawa sa Boracay, yung mga resto dun kailangan mag-hire ng mas maraming waiter 'pag summer," the Senate president said.
"Nililinaw nito na 'pag hindi naman seasonal [ang trabaho], ire-regular mo," he said.
All contractual workers would also receive benefits given to regular employees during the period covered by their contracts, he said.
"Kasi dati kapag contractual lang, wala naman benepisyo tulad ng SSS," Sotto said.
Should the House opt to pass their own version instead of adopting the Senate's, there might still be enough time for the bicameral conference, he said.
If the ENDO bill is not passed into law before the 17th Congress ends, the measure would have to be refiled once the chambers reopen in July.
President Rodrigo Duterte urged lawmakers to end labor-only contracting "once and for all" during his third State of the Nation Address in July. He certified the bill as urgent the following month.