Hontiveros calls for immediate passage of security of tenure bill
On the eve of Labor Day on Tuesday, Senator Risa Hontiveros called for the immediate passage of the Security of Tenure (SoT) bill, which she said would end the mass exodus of Filipino workers to other countries wanting to earn a decent living.
Hontiveros said House Bill 6908 or “An Act Strengthening the Security of Tenure of Workers” was already approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading but its counterpart measure in the Senate remained pending at the committee level.
“If the government wants our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to return home and end the Filipino diaspora, let us ensure that they will return to a country where regular and decent jobs are plentiful, where women workers are treated with the highest respect and where their health is the primary concern of the state,” she said in a statement on Monday.
“Huwag lang natin silang pauwiin. Pauwiin natin sila na may pag-asa at kasiguraduhan ng mas magandang bukas sa sarili nilang bansa,” the senator added.
(We will not just ask them to come home. We will bring them home with hope and assurance of a better future in their own country.)
Hontiveros, who is currently the chairperson of the Senate committee on women, said the bill will protect workers from unscrupulous and discriminatory contracting and sub-contracting and strengthen the security of tenure of workers. It will also help in closing the gender gap in the labor sector, she said.
Citing data from the International Labor Organization (ILO), the senator said that women in several ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, tend to have a bigger share of vulnerable employment than men.
“Filipino women have a lower labor participation rate compared to men, and those fortunate enough to be employed are more exposed to vulnerable employment like contractual jobs. Bukod sa mas mahirap makakuha ng disenteng trabaho ang mga kababaihan, kung makahanap man ng pagkakakitaan, ito ay mga trabahong kontraktuwal,” she said.
(Besides the fact that women have a difficult time finding a decent job, when they do find one, it’s a contractual job.)
Aside from the SoT bill, Hontiveros also expressed confidence that the House of Representatives would pass its version of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law. Its counterpart measure was approved by the Senate last year.
“The passage of these landmark labor laws is important, especially in the context of the challenges posed by our diplomatic row with Kuwait affecting hundreds of thousands of OFWs, and the growing clamor for regular and decent jobs as well as a modern maternity health policy at par with international standards.
“Where President Duterte has failed in his promise to the Filipino workers, I am hopeful that the Legislature will deliver,” said Hontiveros. /je
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