DOLE making sure next SOT bill will pass Duterte’s muster

By Rizal Obanil

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that his office was in the process of “re-formulating” the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill to ensure that it will pass into law the next time it is presented to President Duterte.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN) Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Bello, during a panel discussion dubbed “Kapihan sa Manila Bay” on Wednesday, said that they want to ensure that the terminologies for key elements in the controversial “trabaho bill” were clearly defined.

When asked what might have been the main reason why the SOT bill was vetoed, Bello said a problem arose with the definition of terms, particularly “labor only contracting”

“The definition of the management is that it should be and or, but the position of the DOLE is that it should be and,” Bello explained.

He explained that the DOLE’s position was that companies should not only have the capital, but also the equipment to run the business.

He did clarify that it was not the only reason why the SOT bill was vetoed.

Bello said that when the bill was passed by Congress, and was up for the President’s signature, there were business executives and workers group that were speaking against it.

He said that the President probably thought that bill might not be able to satisfy the needs of the workers.

“He wants to be sure that the SOT bill that will be approved will satisfy the needs of workers and also conscious of the viability of the business,” he said.

Another contentious issue was that of defining what “directly related” service is and what is not.

Bello said that on the side of the company owners, they wanted to be the ones to decide what directly-related service to the business was, but the laborers disagreed with this.

The Labor Secretary said that their proposal was that it should the Secretary of DOLE who should decide, but in consultation with the tripartite body.