The House of Representatives has created a technical working group to study the feasibility of the bill extending workers’ six-month probationary period to two years.
The House Committee on Labor and Employment, chaired by 1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Eric Pineda, created the TWG to discuss House Bill 4802 filed by Probinsyano Ako Party-list Rep. Jose Singson Jr.
At a hearing Wednesday, Labor Assistant Secretary Benjo Santos Benavidez echoed the opposition of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to the measure.
Bello earlier said the bill would deny workers their right to security of tenure, and that the current six-month probationary period is enough.
“Delaying a worker’s assurance of permanent employment is no longer in keeping with the administration’s policy on security of tenure,” Bello said.
During the hearing, Benavidez said the proposal to lengthen the probationary employment period will not solve the contractualization.
“We are also of the opinion that this may not be the solution to the endo problem,” he said.
“[Also], there are already rules and jurisprudence allowing a longer period of time. These matters may well be lengthily discussed and considered in TWG [technical working group] scheduled in relation to the other measures on security on tenure,” he added.
But Singson appealed to his fellow legislators to give his bill a chance.
Singson told the panel that the intention of his bill is to make sure that workers are continuously employed even after the current six-month probationary period.
For his part, Louie Corral, vice chairman of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, also thumbed down Singson’s bill.
He said instead of helping the “non regular workers,” it will only prolong their “agony.”
“Why prolong the agony? If the question is competence, then you have already a six-month period to determine competence,” he said.