Gabriela solon slams ‘deceptive’ Security of Tenure bill
MANILA, Philippines — The Security of Tenure bill, which was approved on second reading in the House of Representatives, will still allow contracting schemes in companies, a lawmaker said Thursday, adding that the bill is a “watered-down version” of the measure President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed in 2019.
Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas explained that the bill in its current form will still allow contracting based on a set of requirements.
“Sa gitna ng pandemya at epekto ng kalamidad na dinaranas ng marami nating kababayan, niratsada ang isang ‘insecurity of tenure bill’ na lalong magbibigay batayan sa kontraktwalisasyon ng mga manggagawa. The bill is dangerously pro-capitalist in its current form, and will be abused as legal basis to contract out jobs that are not directly related and necessary,” said Brosas in a statement.
(In the midst of a pandemic and the impact of calamity many of our countrymen are experiencing, an “insecurity of tenure bill” was passed which will only further provide the basis for the contractualization of workers. The bill is dangerously pro-capitalist in its current form, and will be abused as a legal basis to contract out jobs that are not directly related and necessary.) She compared the current form of the bill to the one vetoed by President Duterte in July 2019.
“In fact, this bill is a watered-down version of the one approved by the House during the 17th Congress, obviously meant to satisfy the exact prescription of the executive branch even if it compromises workers’ rights,” she said.
The bill according to Brosas uses a “very exclusionary” definition of a regular job as “directly related and necessary” to the principal business of the employer, which will make it harder for contractual workers to achieve regularization.
She explained that because of the bill, contractual workers would have to “hurdle a steep precondition to assert regularization – that their jobs must be directly related AND necessary at the same time. They may only be regularized with the contractor or manpower agency, but not with the principal employee.”
The Gabriela lawmaker said she proposed amendments by insisting to retain “usually necessary or desirable” as a parameter for regular jobs to make the bill more inclusive and that workers have already won cases for regularization using this parameter in the Supreme Court.
Brosas also pushed for the criminalization of contractualization scheme setting a penalty of imprisonment for one month to three years, and raising the range of fines from P30,000 to P5 million, to P1 million to P10 million.
These amendments, however, were declined. Prompting Gabriela Women’s Party and the Makabayan bloc to withdraw their authorship from the Security of Tenure bill. Zac Sarao, trainee
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