'Security of tenure' skipped in SONA as Duterte continues study: Labor chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2019 07:44 AM | Updated as of Jul 24 2019 08:03 AM

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President Rodrigo Duterte is still studying a proposed law that guarantees security of tenure for employees by preventing labor-only contracting, which is why it was not mentioned in his annual report to the nation this week, a Cabinet aide said Wednesday. 
 
Under the measure, labor-only contracting occurs when the job contractor merely supplies workers to a contractee, and when the workers perform tasks that are directly related to the contractee's core business. 

"May pinag-aaralan pa (something is still being studied)," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said, quoting what Duterte told him the last time they talked about the bill. 

"Siguro nagtataka ang ating Pangulo dahil nag-oobject ang mga employers. May nag-oobject din na workers," he told radio DZMM, 

(Perhaps our President is puzzled because the employers are objecting and some workers are also objecting.) 

Several labor groups in May criticized the Senate-approved version on the bill, saying it does incorporate strong provisions of the House version, including a ban on fixed-term employment and multi-layered contracting, as well as stiffer penalties like closure of erring manpower agencies. 

Some employers, meanwhile, fear that the bill would narrow their leeway in the selection of workers, said Bello. 
 
The measure would classify workers into 4 types namely: regular, probationary, project-based and seasonal.

Workers in the last 2 categories should receive benefits from their manpower agencies, Bello earlier said. 

The labor department, he said, will consult employers and the trade department on which roles can be outsourced to manpower agencies. 

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.” 
 

DZMM, July 14, 2019