Zubiri: Security of tenure bill not in list of Duterte admin’s priority measures
MANILA, Philippines — The Security of Tenure Bill, which seeks to end the practice of illegal labor contracting, was not included in the list of President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority measures, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said Monday.
Zubiri said Malacañang has already given a list of Duterte’s 22 priority measures for the 18th Congress, but the Security of Tenure bill or endo bill was not among them.
“Hindi nalagay sa 22 measures ‘yun (Security of Tenure bill),” Zubiri told reporters in an interview when asked if the endo bill was included in the Palace’s priority bills list.
To recall, Duterte also did not mention anything about the Security of Tenure Bill in his fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) last July 22.
According to Zubiri, among those included in the priority bills of the President were the revival of mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), reimposition of the death penalty, tax reform packages, and creation of the Department of Disaster Resiliency, Department of Water Management, and Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
The Security of Tenure bill, which aims to protect workers’ rights by removing the ambiguities in labor laws that somehow allow contractualization, was vetoed by Duterte days before it was set to lapse into law in July.
Lawmakers in both chambers have refiled the bill in a bid to finally have it become law during the 18th Congress.
Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Monday that senators will hold a caucus on Tuesday to discuss their respective priority measures.
Sotto said the senators will be asked to submit a list of their priority measures and pet bills, as well as those “realizable” for the first regular session of the 18th Congress.
“We’re going to ask them tomorrow to submit perhaps two or three of their priority bills or two or three of their pet bills,” Sotto told reporters in an interview.
“And ‘yung realizable by December or at least by June 2020, the first regular session of 18th Congress,” he added.
Zubiri said the list that will be drawn from the caucus would then be submitted to Malacañang, which is then expected to notify concerned government agencies.
Also on Monday, Senate and House leaders met during the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).
The “mini” LEDAC, which agrees to meet on every last Monday of the month, is set to meet again on August 27, where they may “merge together” priority bills of the Executive branch and Congress, Sotto said.
Sotto also said: “What we requested is that we must have a livelier PLLO (Presidential Legislative Liaison Office) participant as far as the hearings are concerned so that their feedback will already be given to the departments.”
“At kami din ay mabigyan din kami ng feedback. As I said earlier, I told them bluntly, ‘kung sa tingin n’yo ay ive-veto ng Presidente, we won’t waste our time on debating, wasting time, effort, money, on a bill that will be vetoed anyway,” he added.
According to Zubiri, the Senate leadership has manifested during the LEDAC meeting its “ill-feelings” about bills that were vetoed by the President even if those were earlier certified as urgent by Malacañang.
“Pinagpaalam po natin sa kanila (LEDAC) ‘yung hinanakit ng ating mga kasamahan dito sa mga vetoed measures na ito,” the Senate Majority Leader said.
“We said we do not question the power and prerogative of the President to veto measures as it is his prerogative to do so under the Constitution. Ang nakakapagtaka lang ay ‘yung mga certified measures,” he also pointed out. /kga
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