MANILA – Malacañang said on Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte is cooperating with Congress to develop a “final” bill that will put a stop to the practice of labor contractualization in the Philippines.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed during a news conference at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone that Duterte would keep his campaign vow to end all forms of illegal contractualization.
However, Duterte wants to ensure that the security of tenure bill that he would sign into law is “acceptable to all stakeholders,” according to Roque.
“I think the administration will continue to work with Congress para doon sa (for the) final anti-endo bill that would be acceptable to all stakeholders,” he said.
Roque stated that Duterte was prepared to approve the proposed Security of Tenure bill in July 2019 but vetoed it due to several “objectionable” provisions.
Nonetheless, he stated that ending the discriminatory practice of the temporary work plan “continues to be a promise” of Duterte.
“The whole nation knows na isa siya sa mga campaign promise ni Presidente and we continue to reach a compromise na acceptable po sa lahat ng stakeholders (that is acceptable to all stakeholders),” Roque said.
Following criticism from labor groups, Duterte vetoed the planned Security of Tenure Act in July 2019.
In vetoing the bill, Duterte acknowledged that key sections of the law, such as the intended scope of prohibited contracting, could cause capital placement difficulties, stifling the rights of the Filipino labor force in the future.
He also admitted that the proposed legislation unnecessarily broadens the scope and meaning of illegal labor-only contracting, effectively prohibiting types of contractualization that are not particularly disadvantageous to the employees involved.
There are currently an estimated 60,000 contractual employees in the country.
Duterte issued Executive Order 51 in May 2018, which “strictly” outlaws contracting or subcontracting “undertaken to circumvent the workers’ right to security of tenure, self-organization and collective bargaining, and peaceful concerted activities”.