Villanueva refiles stop-'endo' bill

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2019 02:40 PM | Updated as of Aug 01 2019 09:33 PM

Villanueva refiles stop-'endo' bill 1
Protesters picket in Mendiola calling for the end of contractualization and regularization of workers in the country on July 20, 2018, days ahead of the third State of the Nation Address of the Duterte administration. The protesters call for more action from the government after layoffs by companies amid the signing of Executive Order #51 last May. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Sen. Joel Villanueva on Monday refiled a bill that seeks to end labor contractualization or “endo”, a previous version of which was earlier vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, said he refiled the Security of Tenure Bill with some minor changes.

Duterte on Friday vetoed the Security of Tenure Bill, saying it "unduly broadens the scope and definition of prohibited labor-only contracting.”

The President said he vetoed the proposed measure because he wanted to maintain the “delicate balance” between the interests of employers and employees.

Lawmakers were dismayed after Duterte vetoed the proposed measure seeking to end contractualization, one of his campaign promises that helped put him in office.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri was baffled why Duterte vetoed the proposed measure even though he had certified it as one of his priority bills.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said the bill needs to be “tweaked” so that “it would benefit not only the employers but also the workers.”

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto suggested that the executive branch should now write its own version of the bill and send it to Congress with an attached presidential certification of urgency.

“If it has changed its mind, then the version it now wants must be in black and white, so nothing will be lost in translation. This is needed because the veto message did not cite the specific provisions that triggered the veto,” Recto said in a statement last Saturday.

“Let the burden of proposition fall on them this time. But this will be for the information of Congress only, and should not mean that it must be the one passed en toto.”

In vetoing the bill, Duterte explained that while labor-only contracting must be prohibited, legitimate job-contracting should be allowed, provided that the contractor is well capitalized, has sufficient investments, and affords its employees all the benefits provided under labor laws.

Businesses should be allowed to determine whether they should outsource certain roles or not, “especially when job contracting will result in economy and efficiency in their operations, with no detriment to the workers.”

“This is especially critical since empirical data shows that the Philippines is currently at a disadvantage already in terms of cost and flexibility of labor use compared to its peers in the region,” Duterte said.