Palace working out a ‘compromise’ on anti-endo bill

Published July 27, 2021, 1:52 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The anti-endo bill remains one of the administration-backed proposed legislations even after President Duterte excluded it from the list of priority bills endorsed in his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his sixth and final State of the Nation Address before a joint session of Congress on July 27, 2021. (Malacañang)

Malacañang explained Tuesday, July 27, that the Executive branch was still working out a “compromise” to ensure the proposed security of tenure bill would be “acceptable” to all sectors.

The bill, seeking to end the practice of labor-only contracting or the so-called end of contract (endo), was vetoed by the President back in 2019 over concerns it was unfair to employers. Ahead of his SONA, the labor department asked the President to certify as urgent the revised anti-endo bill.

But after the President did not mention the anti-endo bill in his SONA, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque assured the public that the President has not given up on his promise to address the unfair practice of contractualization.

“Talaga isang pangunahin pangako ‘yan ng presidente. Ang naging problema dyan ay nagpasa ng anti-endo bill ang Kongreso pero mayroon mga objectionable portions doon sa bill na yun kaya naging dahilan na vineto ni Presidente pero hindi na po na-mention yan (I know this is a main promise of the President. The problem there was Congress passed an anti-endo bill but there were objectionable positions so the President vetoed the measure. It was no longer mentioned),” Roque said during a televised press briefing.

“It continues to be a promise. I think the administration will continue to work with Congress para doon sa final anti-endo bill (for a final anti-endo bill) that will be acceptable to all stakeholders,” he said.

Asked if the anti-endo bill still has a chance for approval, Roque said: I think you and I and whole nation know na isa siya sa campaign promises ng presidente (one of the campaign promises of the President) and we continue to reach a compromise na acceptable sa stakeholders.”

In his final SONA, the President asked Congress to pass several priority bills including the measure seeking to create a virology and vaccine institute as well as a department of migrant workers and overseas Filipinos.

Among the priority measures are the proposed creation of a center for disease prevention and control; amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act; proposed e-governance law; fire protection modernization program; mandatory establishment of evacuation centers; military pension reform system; and free legal assistance program for military and police personnel.