Senate can approve Security of Tenure bill by June — Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — The Security of Tenure bill may be approved by the Senate before the 17th Congress adjourns in June, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday.
According to Sotto, the period of amendments for Senate Bill No. 1826 will resume on May 20. They are looking to finish amending the bill within three days, as it is was certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“It has been certified urgent by the President so kahit na abutin pa kami ng last day para matapos ang period of amendment kaya ipasa ng second and third reading,” he said in an interview with dzMM.
“Pinakamaganda no’n sa May 20 when we resume, within the next 2 or 3 days after ng May 20 matapos na natin ‘yong period of amendment,” he added.
The Senate President said that some of the amendments had actually been inserted before Congress went on break for the 2019 midterm election’s campaign period, but there are still undiscussed amendments from two minority senators.
One problem that the Security of Tenure bill may encounter is the difference between the House of Representatives and Senate versions, which may force the two chambers to enter into a bicameral conference.
However, Sotto said that there are minor differences as of now, with most of it centering on the issue of seasonal workers.
“Except that kung meron pagkakaiba sa house mapipilitang mag-bicam […] isa lang naman ang naging kontrobersyal na palagay ko madaling i-resolve, ‘yon lang issue ng pano pagka ‘yong mga special work lang,” Sotto explained.
“For example may holiday, gustong magdagdag ng empleyado only for the holiday, or ‘yong mga may catering only for a certain malaking event, hindi mo naman pwedeng gawing regular ‘yon, ‘yon lang naman ang medyo tinatapos pa namin na punto, ‘yon lang medyo tatagal ng konti, sa period of amendment,” he added.
Aside from the Security of Tenure bill, other measures like the Human Security Act and Public Service Act will also be tackled before Congress’ adjournment, Sotto said.
“Isa sa mga priorities naman ‘yan eh, ‘yan at saka ‘yong Human Security Act, pinapalitan namin ginagawa naming Anti-terrorism Act, saka ‘yong public service act, tamang-tama, kailangan ma-prioritize din yun dahil don sa issue ng tubig at ilaw,” he added.
On Wednesday, Labor Day, protesters marched along the streets of Manila, calling on the government to end contractualization. Stopping ‘endo’ or the practice of ending contracts before mandated regularization has been a campaign promise of Duterte.
Duterte signed an Executive Order banning illegal labor-contracting schemes on Labor Day 2018, although labor groups dismissed it as weak.
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