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Duterte to fulfill his promise on ending labor contractualization

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President Rodrigo Duterte never disregarded his campaign promise to end the practice of labor contractualization, Malacañang said in a report by Philippine News Agency.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque echoed the statement made by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that Duterte is still determined to fulfill his promise of approving the security of tenure bill before his term ends.

“Talaga po iyan ay isang sa mga pangako ng Presidente. Bagama’t iyong bersyon na naipasa ng Kongreso ay vineto rin niya dahil may mga probisyon doon na inconsistent sa tingin ng Presidente sa ating Saligang Batas. Pero hindi po ibig sabihin nito na nabalewala na po ang endo (That is really one of the promises of the President. Even if he vetoed the version passed by Congress because some provisions were inconsistent with the Constitution, it does not mean that he disregarded his promise to end endo),” Roque said in an interview over DZBB.

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Duterte has called on Congress to pass a law that will give workers security of tenure to address the issue of unfair labor contracting practices.

However, in July 2019, he vetoed the Security of Tenure (SOT) Bill saying it “unduly broadens the scope and definition of prohibited labor-only contracting, effectively proscribing forms of contractualization that are not particularly unfavorable to the employees involved.”

Roque expressed hope that Congress would “rectify” provisions that Duterte vetoed.

“Endo po ay kasama pa rin sa mga administration bills at inaasahan po na sana natin na ma-rectify iyong ilang mga probisyon na naging dahilan kung bakit vineto ng Presidente iyong napasang endo bill ng Kongreso (The anti-endo measure is among the administration bills and we expect some provisions in the bill passed by Congress to be rectified),” Roque added.

Last week, Bello said he has formally asked Duterte to certify as urgent the proposed SOT and End of Endo Act.

Asked about the difference between the pending bill and the one that was vetoed by the President, Bello said these are "substantially the same".

"The only thing is what could be contracted by employers. The provisions of the bill approved by Congress are good," he added.

Bello said Duterte was ready to sign the measure into law then, but many labor groups opposed the bill.

Despite the President's veto on the anti-endo bill, the DOLE reported that there are some 700,000 employees that have been regularized under the Duterte administration.

Currently, there are still around 50,000 to 60,000 contractual workers in the country.

In May 2018, Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 51 order that “strictly” prohibits contracting or subcontracting “undertaken to circumvent the worker’s right to security of tenure, self-organization and collective bargaining, and peaceful concerted activities”.


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