Makabayan refiles ‘stronger, pro-worker’ anti-endo bill
MANILA, Philippines — The House Makabayan bloc refiled on Monday their “pro-worker and stronger” version of the Security of Tenure bill which President Rodrigo Duterte had vetoed after certifying it as urgent last year.
House Bill No. 3381 seeks to repeal Article 106 of the Labor Code of the Philippines and introduce a prohibition on all forms of contractualization or labor-only contracting and fixed-term employment. Job contracting or contracting out of work by the principal employer to a contractor, manpower agency or a similar analogous entity, as well as direct-hiring of contractual workers are also banned by the bill.
The proposed law also provides penalties from P1 million to P10 million and imprisonment from six months to three years and possible suspension or cancellation of business permit.
In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said the fight to ban contractualization in the country is far from over.
“While Duterte is bent on protecting the ‘security of capital,’ the workers and their representatives here in Congress will continue the fight to secure labor rights. ‘Di nila ganun kadali mae-endo ang ating laban para tapusin ang kontraktwalisasyon,” said Gaite.
“Millions of workers continue to clamor for security of tenure, and we will never renege on our commitment to putting an end to the unjust practice of Endo, as Duterte did,” he vowed.
The Makabayan group is composed of Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas; Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate, Gaite, and Eufemia Cullamat; ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro; and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago.
Citing data released by think-tank Ibon Foundation, the Makabayan bloc said there are some 8.5 million nonregular workers in private companies and more than 800,000 nonregular workers in government agencies. Construction, real estate, and manufacturing sectors have the most nonregular workers, where seven out of 10 workers, 5 out of 10 workers, and 4 out of 10 workers, respectively, are nonregular or agency-hired, they added.
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 in his veto message 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 claimed legitimate job-contracting should be allowed provided that the contractor is “well capitalized, has sufficient investments, and affords its employees all the benefits”
Similar anti-endo bills have also been filed in the House under the 18th Congress, like Diwa Rep. Michael Aglipay’s House Bill No. 271, and Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Precious Castelo’s House Bill No. 1018. /je
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