Duterte still studying pros and cons of Security of Tenure bill; Palace corrects earlier confirmation of veto

Published July 25, 2019, 11:50 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Argyll Geducos

Over a day before it lapses into law, Malacañang said that President Duterte has decided to veto the Security of Tenure bill.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo corrected his earlier text message that the President has decided to veto the bill which aims to end contractualization.

“Security Tenure Bill not yet vetoed.  PRRD still studying the pros and cons. Sorry about the error. We will know tomorrow for sure,” Panelo said in a text message late Thursday.

Malacañang is also yet to confirm a veto message circulating online which said that Duterte vetoed the bill because it “unduly broadens the scope and definition of prohibited labor-only contracting, effectively proscribing form of contractualization that are not particularly unfavorable to the employees involved.”

While Malacañang is yet to release a statement or an official copy of the President’s veto message, Panelo said in his Thursday press briefing that Duterte may veto the bill if he thinks it will not be good for both workers and employers.

“The President is always open to suggestion. He rationalizes. If he feels that signing the law will create not beneficial effects to the major players, he might consider vetoing it. But if he doesn’t feel that way, he will sign that into law,” he said.

Panelo also said that it is up to Congress to find a win-win solution in case Duterte vetoed the bill.

“If you veto the bill, members of Congress can always introduce amendments or pass another bill for the signature of the President,” he said.

“In other words, hahanap ka ng win-win solution. Kung ano iyong opposition ng business sector, puwede namang hanapan ng … compromise iyon, eh (You will look for a win-win solution. Maybe you can make a compromise with the business sector opposing it),” he added.

It was reported last week that business groups want the bill to be vetoed as it is against the constitutional rights of businesses to contract labor as part of their management prerogative.

On Thursday, Panelo, however, was not able to confirm reports that someone was lobbying in Malacañang for the President to veto the Security of Tenure bill.

Ending contractualization was one of President Duterte’s campaign promises. However, he said that a mere Executive Order (EO) is not enough and Congress needs to pass a law for job security.

READ MORE: Duterte vetoes Security of Tenure bill