House Makabayan bloc: Duterte favored big business on ‘Anti-Endo bill’ veto
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition House members lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to veto the Security of Tenure (SOT) Bill even if they hit the proposed law as already being “watered down.”
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the President’s veto of the bill just shows how Duterte favors the welfare of big businesses and bureaucrat-capitalists over that of workers.
“Malabnaw na version na nga lang ng SOT bill ang pinapipirmahan sa kanya ay vineto pa nya ito dahil mas mahalaga sa kanya ang mga kapitalista kesa sa mga naghihirap na mga mangagagawa,” Zarate, a House deputy minority leader, said in a statement.
Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite meanwhile said the Chief Executive’s move shows how he “reneged” on his campaign promise to stop contractualization.
“…[H]e devotes two and a half paragraphs in explaining wrongly why labor or job contracting, obviously a form of contractualization, is necessary and that businesses should be allowed to determine whether to outsource their activities or not… regardless of whether this is directly related to their business,” Gaite said, referring to the veto message of Duterte.
For her part, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago called on the public to step-up the campaign for regularization, a living wage, safe workplace, workers’ right to organize, form unions, and all civil liberties for social justice.
The proposed law seeking to end the labor-only contracting scheme was supposed to lapse into law by July 27 but Duterte vetoed it amid the lobbying of the country’s biggest local and foreign business groups which claimed of its negative effects to the Philippine economy and the labor force.
Although Duterte affirmed his commitment to prevent abuse of workers, he also stressed the need to leave businesses “free to engage in those practices beneficial to both management and the workforce” and free to “determine whether they should outsource certain activities or not.”
He said legitimate job-contracting should be allowed provided that the contractor is “well capitalized, has sufficient investments, and affords its employees all the benefits.”
Meanwhile, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, an ally of the President, said Congress needs to formulate a new bill that will significantly comply with Duterte’s commitment.
“It’s a campaign promise so Congress needs to formulate a measure that significantly complies with that commitment,” he said.
The vetoed SOT bill will have to be refiled in the current 18th Congress and will have to be approved by both chambers of Congress before it could be sent to the President for his consideration. /muf
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