Senator Joel Villanueva delivered his sponsorship speech on the committee report released by the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development on Senate Bill No. 1826 or the Security of Tenure Bill.

Villanueva, chairperson of the Committee on Labor, emphasized the urgency and importance of passing a law that will finally put an end to abusive work schemes like “endo” (end of contract) and labor-only contracting.

The veteran legislator echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) when he called for a law that would address the abuses of contractualization. According to the seasoned lawmaker, 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 workers and that one out of two non-regular workers are contractual.

“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.”

“Ang kawalan po ng seguridad sa trabaho o kabuhayan sa bahagi ng manggagawa ang isa sa malaking pagkakaiba ng kontraktwal at regular. Dahil wala silang seguridad sa trabaho, habambuhay silang nasa laylayan ng lipunan, lubog sa kahirapan dahil palaging ‘new employee’ sa iisa o iba’t ibang employer, minimum wage earner lang at kinakaltasan ng uniform, capital share sa kooperatiba at Personal Protective Equipment o PPEs, at kadalasan ay hindi hinuhulugan ang kanilang SSS, PagIbig at Philhealth,” the senator said.

He lamented the weak enforcement of regularization orders by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“Nananatili itong papel o order lamang dahil hindi naman naipapatupad sa iba’t ibang kadahilanan, isa na rito ang pag-apela hanggang sa Korte Suprema. Ang mga manggagawa ay tinatanggal o nagkakapalitan lang ng mga contractors, at ang pinakamasaklap, lalo pa po silang nalagay sa alanganin – tulad ng mga inaresto matapos ang marahas na dispersal ng mga manggagawang nagpiket sa Nutri-Asia sa Marilao, Bulacan at mga nagpo-protesta sa PLDT na ilang linggo nang walang tinatanggap na sahod sa kumpanya,” Villanueva shared.

“Endo” which is defined as “the scheme of continuously employing workers on a fixed period and replacing these workers again upon expiration of the contract with other workers on the same employment duration” is prevalent in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food service, and crop and animal production.

On the other hand, “contracting” refers to an arrangement whereby a principal agrees to engage the services of a contractor to perform or complete a specific job or work within a definite or predetermined period, regardless of whether such job or work is to be performed or completed within or outside the premises of the principal.

“Ang bottomline po dito ay ang labor-only contracting na siyang numero unong behikulo ng endo ay labag sa karapatan ng mga manggagawa,” he remarked.

For the businesses, he said that ending these abusive work schemes will also benefit the industries.

According to Villanueva, “ending endo is not anti-business. Giving our workers certainty and social protection makes them more efficient, more productive, and, in lieu of ‘social clauses’ and brand codes of conduct, more market competitive, which is the primary concern of every business.”

“Ending endo is not anti-business. Giving our workers certainty and social protection makes them more efficient, more productive, and, in lieu of ‘social clauses’ and brand codes of conduct, more market competitive, which is the primary concern of every business.”

He cited a study conducted in 13 European countries by the International Labor Organization in 2004 which 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.

According to Villanueva the proposed measure has four salient features:

  • First, the Security of Tenure bill provides social protection to workers by ensuring their constitutional right to security of tenure through the prohibition on labor-only contracting.
  • Second, the bill only allows independent, licensed and specialized job contracting, simplifying classification of workers and tightening the rules regarding probationary employees.
  • Third, the measure establishes a Transition Support Program (TSP) for workers to ensure their continuous growth through skills training as well as financial assistance while they are not at work or transitioning between jobs.
  • Finally, the Security of Tenure bill provides DOLE and the employers with clearly defined policies.

“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.

“Naniniwala po tayo na ang Senate Bill 1826 ay tungkol sa pag-respeto sa dignidad ng mga manggagawa at ng ating mga kapwa-Filipino at pagmamalasakit sa lahat ng negosyo sa bansa – malaki o maliit man ang mga ito,” Villanueva concluded.

 

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