Senate adoption of House anti-endo bill pushed

Published December 2, 2020, 4:00 PM

by Ben Rosario

Confident that the anti-endo bill passed by the House of Representatives has met the most significant of tripartite concerns, 1Pacman party-list Rep. Eric Pineda disclosed Wednesday that the chamber will propose Senate adoption of the measure approved on third and final reading by congressmen.

MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO

In a news forum, Pineda said the House version considered the many concerns raised by various labor groups and employers. Consultations with the Department of Labor and Employment were also conducted to provide a “balance” of interest among the concerned sectors.

Pineda, chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, also stressed that the veto message of President Duterte who rejected an earlier version of the Security of Tenure Act has been considered in crafting House Bill 7036.

HB 7036 was approved Tuesday by the House that registered a vote of 204 affirmative and seven rejections.

Pineda said he would take up with Sen. Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, the House measure and try to convince him to fasttrack passage by adopting the House version.

“We hope we will not be running out of time to address the concerns of our workers and make good President Duterte’s campaign promise to Filipinos,” said Pineda.

Duterte vetoed the anti-endo bill that the 17th Congress approved. The bill contained the Senate version that was adopted in whole by the House.

HB 7036 will be sent to the Senate which may adopt it or craft its own version of the bill.

Aside from Pineda, other authors of HB 7036 bill include Deputy Speaker Precious Hipolito-Castelo (PDP-Laban, Quezon City); Michael Edgar Aglipay (DIWA party-list); and Jesse Mangaoang (PDP-Laban, Kalinga).

Six Makabayan bloc lawmakers voted to reject the bill after withdrawing as co-authors of the bill. Pineda’s rejection of their amendments to the bill triggered the decision.

Pineda noted that the opposition solons actively participated in the committee deliberations of the measure but did not declare their opposition to the final version of the bill. Makabayan solons were joined by Minority Leader Abang Lingkod partylist Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano who insisted that the bill “departs from the original intent of the old bill which was to eliminate endo.”

“HB 6908 (the first bill) outlaws contractualization while HB 7036 legalizes job contracting. This will complicate the issue due to the very thin line that separates labor contracting from job contracting,” explained Paduano.

Endo has been a much criticized action by abusive employers to avoid granting their workers permanent tenure after six months of services. Thus, employers terminate the services of workers on the fifth month, then rehire them a month later.

Implementation of an “anti-endo” law is a campaign promise of Duterte that has been much awaited by the labor sector.

Pineda said HB 7036 will plug the loopholes that employers usually resort to in order to skirt mandatory regularization of workers.

He stressed that the measure also strikes a balance between the interest of the management and the welfare of its workers.

Under the bill, labor only contracting is prohibited. It defines existence of this abusive practice under any of the following conditions:

  1. The contractor does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises, among others.
  2. The contractor has no control over the workers’ methods and means of accomplishing their work.
  3. The contractor’s workers are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of the employer.

HB 7036 introduces a new provision that requires all persons or entities doing business as job contractors to obtain a license from the Department of Labor and Employment.

It also declares that violation of substantive or procedural due process for workers constitutes illegal dismissal.

 
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