MANILA—The President's decision to veto a bill that would have given temporary workers secure employment "really hurt" laborers and their families, a union group said on Friday.
Alan Tanjusay, spokesman for the Associated Labor Unions—Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), said the group was disappointed for contractual workers who had hoped that President Rodrigo Duterte would fulfill his promise to stop "endo," the colloquial term for hiring and dismissing workers in fixed cycles.
"We are saddened for the millions of endo workers and their families dahil matagal silang umasa. They hoped for the President for so long, hoping that before the end of Duterte's term that he would fulfill his promise to address head-on the issue of poverty caused by endo," Tanjusay said Friday in an interview with ANC.
"It really hurt us because this is the President's campaign promise and he said he would not renege on his promise to end contractualization."
Duterte vetoed the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill authored by Sen. Joel Villanueva, despite his promise during his presidential campaign to stop contractualization and help in granting full-time employment status and corresponding benefits to contractual workers.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced the veto of the bill after retracting his statement late Thursday that the President rejected the measure.
"So this is a non-fulfillment of his (Duterte's) promise and he's turning his back away on the workers," Tanjusay said.
The spokesman stressed the bill was a "chance" for contractual workers to "experience the economic gains the country has been experiencing."
"Mataas ang ating ekonomiya, yumayaman ang ating bansa, lumalaki ang profits ng companies, pero hindi po sila nakikinabang dito sa economic wealth na ito na sila mismo ay naging bahagi," Tanjusay said.
According to him, there is no more middle ground between the President and contractual workers.
"We don't see any middle ground because the SOT bill is the middle ground," Tanjusay said.
Duterte, he said, "might take a hit on his political capital" for rejecting the bill.