Despite Duterte veto, Makabayan bloc refiles anti-endo bill in House

Mara Cepeda
Despite Duterte veto, Makabayan bloc refiles anti-endo bill in House
For the progressive lawmakers, President Rodrigo Duterte's veto 'reflected his true bias' and priority of business interests over workers' welfare

MANILA, Philippines – The progressive lawmakers of the Makabayan bloc are not giving up on their push to end labor contractualization in the country, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent veto of the anti-endo bill.

On Monday, August 5, the following 6 legislators refiled the measure that would ban hiring workers for limited periods of time or what is known as fixed-term labor contracting: 

  • Ferdinand Gaite, Carlos Zarate, and Eufemia Culamat of Bayan Muna
  • Arlene Brosas of Gabriela Women’s Party
  • France Castro of Alliance of Concerned Teachers
  • Sarah Elago of Kabataan

Under House Bill (HB) No. 3381 or the security of tenure bill, all forms of contractualization and fixed-term employment would be prohibited.

It would also be illegal for principal employers to resort to job contracting or farming out to a contractor or manpower agency the performance of a specific job for the principal employer. 

On July 26, Duterte vetoed the 17th Congress-approved security of tenure bill, saying that labor-only contracting “should be prohibited” but “legitimate job contracting should still be allowed.”

The vetoed measure was rejected by both labor groups and business chambers.

Business groups believe the measure would impinge on freedoms of companies to make managerial decisions and would ramp up the cost of doing business, which could lead to job losses.

Labor groups, meanwhile, said the vetoed measure was a watered-down version of the bill that the House had passed. The lower chamber had decided to abandon this bill and adopt the Senate version instead, to expedite its progress in the previous 17th Congress.

The Makabayan bloc, however, said the President’s veto “reflected his true bias and priority of business and capitalists’ interests over and above workers’ rights and welfare.”

“President Duterte must have forgotten that the vetoed bill was workers’ security of tenure bill…not a security of business bill. Contractualization persisted because present laws and regulations allowed job contracting and businesses were able to get around the prohibited labor-only contracting,” said the Makabayan bloc in their explanatory note for HB No. 3381.

Senator Joel Villanueva already refiled the anti-endo bill in the Senate on July 29.

Read a full copy of HB No. 3381 below:

– Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.