Duterte certifies anti-contractualization bill as urgent

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2018 11:43 AM | Updated as of Sep 25 2018 05:55 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the Security of Tenure Bill, in a bid to give more job security to Filipino workers by prohibiting the practice of contractualization.

Duterte told Senate President Vicente Sotto III in a letter that he has certified as an urgent measure Senate Bill 1826 “in order to strengthen workers’ security of tenure by prohibiting the prevalent practices of contractualization and labor-only contracting.”

According to Duterte, these labor practices “continue to immerse our workers in a quagmire of poverty and underemployment.”

Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, welcomed Duterte’s certification of the bill as urgent.

He said the practice of contractualization affects 1.9 million workers in the private sector. Overall, about 3 out of 10 Filipino workers are not regular and 1 out of 2 non-regular workers are contractual.

Villanueva said the Security of Tenure Bill, once passed into law, will “remove ambiguities in the Labor Code, which is the source of circumventions.”

It will also prohibit labor-only contracting, and provide penalties for violation, limit job contracting to licensed and specialized services, classify workers into regular and probationary employees--and treat project and seasonal employees as regular employees, provide security of tenure, clarify standards on probationary employment, and provide "Transition Support Program" for employees while they are not at work or transitioning in between jobs.

"Giving our workers certainty and social protection makes them more efficient and more productive," Villanueva said.

"We certainly need a law that will not only uphold our workers' basic labor rights and restore dignity of work, but also a law that will promote quality employment without jeopardizing business operations but rather create more stable jobs for every Filipino," Villanueva stressed.