By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
A law cannot put an end to contractualization without an Executive Order from the Palace clearly showing its position on the issue, Senator Joel Villanueva said Tuesday.
The senator made the statement after Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the executive branch cannot solve the issue on contractualization with an EO alone, stressing that a legislation is required to amend the Labor Code.
While he agreed with Guevarra, Villanueva however, said that an EO is equally necessary, especially that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has yet to submit a clear stand on the matter.
Villanueva chairs the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development which tackles the bills that push for the prohibition of contractualization of employees.
“I agree that a law is necessary to end unjust contractualization. We are now on the final stage of preparing our committee report for plenary action,” he said.
Villanueva cited the DOLE’s input as an “important factor” in the measure, saying this will “ensure that what we legislate is operationable since they are responsible for the implementation of the proposed law.”
“Unfortunately, while DOLE attended the committee hearings, they have not submitted a clear position on the issue,” Villanueva admitted.
“That’s why the EO is important because we have to consider the real position of the implementing agency on this matter,” he added.
Villanueva said the EO from President Duterte would provide the guidelines on the implementation of a national policy on contractualization.
“We cannot legislate based on news items or without knowing the clear position of the executive on this matter. We want to ensure that what we are legislating is useful and effective,” he noted.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, in an earlier interview, said the Upper Chamber plans to act on the proposals to ban the practice of end of contract, or “endo,” by companies when Congress resumes sessions on May.
It was among the promises of President Duterte during the election campaign.
Guevarra on Monday said the EO on endo has been pending in the Office of the Executive Secretary for quite some time.