Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, welcomed on Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte’s certification of the Security of Tenure Bill as urgent.
Duterte wrote the letter to Senate President Tito Sotto dated September 21 requesting the “immediate enactment” of Senate Bill No. 1826.
“We laud the move of the President certifying our Security of Tenure Bill as a priority measure. It is important that we pass this into law to finally put an end to work schemes like ‘endo’ and labor-only contracting,” said Villanueva, principal author and sponsor of the measure.
According to Villanueva, the practice of contractualization affects more than 1.9 million workers in the private sector. Overall, about three out of 10 Filipino workers are not regular and one out of two non-regular workers are contractual.
Once passed into law, the measure would remove the ambiguities in the Labor Code, which is the source of circumventions, and: (a) prohibit labor-only contracting, and provide penalties for violation (b) limit job contracting to licensed and specialized services, (c) classify workers into regular and probationary employees--and treat project and seasonal employees as regular employees, (d) provide security of tenure, (e) clarify standards on probationary employment, and (f) provide "Transition Support Program" for employees while they are not at work or transitioning in between jobs.
“Senate Bill 1826 is clear enough to meet the interests of the labor sector and the interests of the business sector," the senator said.
The Security of Tenure Bill is “pro-labor, pro-business, and pro-Filipino,” he added.
For the businesses, Villanueva said that ending abusive work schemes will also benefit the industries.
The Senator cited a study conducted in 13 European countries by the International Labor Organization in 2004 revealed that “the relationship between tenure and productivity for the period 1992 to 2002 shows that at an aggregate level, tenure has a positive effect on productivity for about 14 years and levels off thereafter. The study suggests that countries remain productive with a high share of long-tenured workers.
“Giving our workers certainty and social protection makes them more efficient and more productive,” the senator said.
“We certainly need a law that will not only uphold our workers' basic labor rights and restore dignity of work, but also a law that will promote quality employment without jeopardizing business operations but rather create more stable jobs for every Filipino,” Villanueva stressed.