MANILA – “Profit wins again,” Sen. Joel Villanueva said Friday as he expressed dismay after President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed a bill that seeks to end labor contractualization.
Villanueva said while there is always a concern for loss of profit, stakeholders must also put the welfare of contractual employees in mind.
“We are always concerned of how much of our profit will be eroded by the SOT bill. Ang hiling po sana natin sa usapin ng security of tenure ay makiisa sa mga mangaggawa na ang iniisip lagi ay pangtustos sa kanilang pamilya tuwing ma e-ENDO,” Villanueva, principal author of the bill, said in a statement.
(We wish that in the discussions on the security of tenure, we become one with employees who always worry every time their contract ends.)
“Unfortunately, profit wins again with the veto of the SOT bill.”
The senator said government officials must always think of ways to alleviate the suffering of those who have the least in life.
“Ngunit ang katotohanan, minsan ay mas matimbang ang mga makapangyarihan at naghaharing-uri. Ang pagka veto ng ENDO ay isa sa mga manipistasyon ng mga ganitong pagkakataon,” he said.
(But the truth is, the will of the powerful bears more weight. And the veto of the anti-endo bill is one manifestation of this.)
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, meanwhile, said he was “crestfallen” after the veto of the bill, but noted “that’s how democracy works.”
Sotto said lawmakers under the 18th Congress can refile the bill.
Duterte had promised during the campaign to stop "endo" of the hiring and firing of workers in cycles to avoid granting them regular employment status and corresponding benefits. But strong opposition from employers prevented the swift passage of a law barring contractualization.
The President had earlier certified the bill as urgent. In his 2018 State of the Nation address, Duterte urged lawmakers to end labor-only contracting “once and for all.” He, however, did not mention the bill in his SONA this year.