Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Saturday rejected the proposal extending the worker’s probationary period from six months to two years, saying it would deny the workers’ right to security of tenure.
“I don’t think it’s necessary for a worker to undergo a probationary period of two years for an employer to determine his qualification. Six months is enough,” Bello said in a statement.
The Labor chief said two years probationary period is too long for a worker to secure permanent employment, against the administration’s policy of providing job security.
“Delaying a worker’s assurance of permanent employment is no longer in keeping with the administration’s policy on security of tenure,” Bello said.
He also said the proposal might encourage illegal practice of contractualization, such as the practice of “endo”, as employers could terminate the workers within two years, which limits a workers’ right to statutory benefits as a regular employee.
Under the law, workers are given six months probationary period and shall be considered a regular employee after the lapse of the period.
A bill in the House proposes to extend the maximum prescribed period of probationary employment to 24 months, with the unidentified proponent saying six months probationary period was not enough to determine a worker’s qualification for regular employment.
In the House, the “Ang Probinsyano” party-list disowned the House Bill 4802 that seeks to extend to two years the probationary employment from the present six months.
Ang Probinsyano spokesman, lawyer Joco Sabio, said HB 4802 was filed by the “Probinsyano Ako” party-list, which is completely different from “Ang Probinsyano.”
Sabio said the author, Rep. Bonito Singson, is from Probinsyano Ako and not Ang Probinsyano.
“The Ang Probinsyano party-list has nothing to do with House Bill 4802, which seeks to amend the Labor Code of the Philippines and allowing employers to avoid the regularization of employees in their workforce. Our nominees have not authored any such bill because this does not represent the position of Ang Probinsyano,” Sabio said in a statement sent to reporters covering the House of Representatives.
Sabio lamented that Ang Probinsyano was being mistaken as the party-list that authored House Bill 4802.
“Ang Probinsyano does not share the same position with Probinsyano Ako with respect to this particular proposal. We continue to respect Rep. Singson and the Probinsyano Ako party-list as peers but we just want to clarify that HB 4802 is not ours,” Sabio pointed out.
HB 4802 was filed in September by Rep. Jose “Bonito” Singson Jr., of Probinsyano Ako party-list group that proposes to amend the Labor Code of the Philippines by extending the period of probationary employment to two years.
The bill amends the Labor Code and allow employers to “avoid the automatic regularization” of employees in their workforce. The bill is pending with the House Committee on Labor and Employment.
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