Labor group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines on Thursday said the passage of the Security of Tenure bill brings hope to millions of workers employed under the contractual or endo scheme, of steady income and benefits that would provide decent lives with their families.
In a statement, the TUCP said they are overjoyeda that despite a fierce lobby opposing the passage of SB 1826, led by employers, agency contractors and the joint foreign chambers of commerce, the Senate passed the measure that will begin the process of finally ending contractualization and “Endo.”
“By a vote of 15-0, the Senate also brushed aside the apprehensions and objections made by Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez that the bill would negatively affect the economy and was contrary to the interest of management flexibility.” [end-of-contract] employment,” said TUCP president Raymond Mendoza.
“We remind Secretary Dominguez that TUCP also respects management flexibility, but it must be consistent with the constitutional rights of workers, the right to security of tenure, the laws and the higher goals of building decency and fairness in a society faced with growing income and social inequality,” the TUCP president said.
“By helping President Duterte meet his campaign vow of ending contractualization, all of us are actually building a socially inclusive country and strengthening genuine grassroots democracy,” said Mendoza.
“There are about 15 million contractual and “endo” workers in our workforce. The bill will incentivize workers to higher labor productivity by regularizing huge numbers of them. It will cut down production costs by doing away with ‘Labor-only’ or ‘Cabo’ contractors whose financial services charges add 15% to the labor costs of employers utilizing such agencies,” the labor group said.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte certified the Security of Tenure bill last year as an urgent administration bill, even as he said, that only Congress, not the President, could put an end to contractualization.
In 2016, Duterte promised to put an end to contractualization of workers in “months”.
Meanwhile, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said the government should not outlaw all forms of labor contractualization, especially those that are practiced globally.
“In some cases, labor providers should be the ones to grant their workers regular status” ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis said. .
The ECOP “always said that endo is illegal,” but some provisions in legislation aimed at stopping the practice could “turn off investors,” Ortiz-Luis said.