No mention of anti-endo bill in SONA 2021

In his final State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte made no mention of the Security of Tenure bill, even as his officials said it remains to be an administration bill.

On Monday, July 26, Duterte asked Congress to pass 12 priority bills, including military and uniformed personnel pension reform, modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection, and liberalization bills.

But nowhere in the President's speech did he mention anything about abolishing exploitative forms of contracting practices.

Ending contractualization was a campaign promise of Duterte.

What the President only said on Monday was that the government will "exert every effort to restore the lost livelihood" of Filipinos, in relation to the effects of the pandemic.

Outside the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City where Duterte delivered his SONA, protesters brought banners that said, "Wakasan ang Kontraktwalisasyon!" (End contractualization!)

Ahead of the SONA, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he wrote to ask the President to certify the anti-endo or end-of-contract measure as urgent again.

Bello had denied Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Jacinto Paras' claim that the bill ceased to be this administration's priority.

In 2019, Duterte vetoed the bill despite certifying the measure as urgent. He argued that the bill would "make it hard" for capitalists.

Two years after the veto, Senator Joel Villanueva, the Senate labor panel chair, said that the committee has been waiting for the proposed bill of the executive branch.

On July 21, the labor department said that it still supports Villanueva's bill, but some limitations have to be reintroduced to "balance" the concerns of labor groups and employers. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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