Voting 15-0, the Senate approved on third and final reading Wednesday the bill seeking to eliminate the practice of “endo” or "end of contract" by employers and guarantee security of tenure of workers.
Since the bill was considered as a priority and certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte, the chamber immediately approved the bill after passing it on second reading.
Under Senate Bill 1826, ambiguities in the Labor Code, which is the source of circumvention of some employers, would be removed. It would also:
(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.
The bill calls for all contractors to obtain a license to engage in job contracting from the Department of Labor and Employment.
Senator Joel Villanueva, principal author and sponsor of the bill, said making contractors submit themselves to licensing allows the department to scrutinize their capacity to adhere to existing labor laws and regulation, and gauge their ability to provide for their employees.
The measure also establishes a mechanism that empowers industry tripartite councils to determine roles that can be outsourced. The industry tripartite council will provide a venue for stakeholders—government, employee representatives, and industry bodies—to discuss and determine jobs which can be contracted out to a job contractor.
Villanueva, chairman of the labor and employment committee, said the industry tripartite council may set a positive or negative list of functions or task that are or are not directly related to the principal business.
He added having an industry-determined listing will help minimize disputes among employers and affected workers.
The senator expressed optimism that despite having only six session days remaining, there is still enough time to discuss the bill in the bicameral conference committee.
The next phase of our struggle for the security of tenure bill is in the bicam. We are determined to pursue this, especially that this measure has been certified urgent by the President,” Villanueva said. — MDM, GMA News