President Rodrigo Duterte will consider the call of major business groups to veto the Security of Tenure Bill which aims to protect workers from the end-of-contract (or “endo”) scheme, the Palace said Thursday.
READ: Workers’ welfare remains Duterte’s top priority—Palace
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President is always “appreciative and considerate” of concerns raised by any sector about legislative measures which might affect them.
His statement came after major business groups urged the Chief Executive to veto the bill and instead modernize labor regulations to suit the needs of work-intensive industries.
In a joint statement, the groups claimed that the bill merely repeated the existing orders that protect workers from illegal contractualization, such as the Department of Labor and Employment’s Order No. 174 and Executive Order No. 51 from the Office of the President.
The groups also said that job contracting is an exercise of “management prerogative and business judgment,” protected by the constitutional right and freedom to contract and right to property.
The bill also failed to include contractual workers hired by government agencies due to potential fiscal challenge it may pose, the groups said.
“Therefore, it does not protect contractual workers hired by the government with tenure of up to 15 years already, under the so-called ‘job order‘ system,” the statement read.
Business groups have been claiming that the bill will hinder operations and slow down the growth of private employers.
They warned that the bill could lead to job losses, as businesses may choose to get rid of the low-skilled work who currently work under contract.
Joining the call for a veto of the anti-endo bill are the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Inc., Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc., Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. and Foundation for Economic Freedom.
Labor groups also rejected the bill, saying that some provisions in the House version should have been adopted in the Senate-approved version bill.
The labor groups said that the penalties for those who violate the law were watered down in the Senate version.
The anti-endo bill is already on Duterte’s desk for signing.
It will lapse into law if Duterte fails to act on it next week. The bicameral committee finalized the version of the bill on May 29.
Sought for comment as to why the President has yet to act on the bill, Panelo said: “documents pile up and sometimes, he doesn’t see the others.”
“You know the problem is there are so many documents he has to sign. At the same time, he has so many activities that he has to attend to. He visits one place and another place,” Panelo said.
READ: Management services group rejects ‘endo’
READ: Duterte tosses ‘endo’ dreams to Congress