SENATOR Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva said the proposed Security of Tenure Bill strikes a balance between employers and workers interests, as business groups called on President Rodrigo R. Duterte to veto the measure.

“The Security of Tenure bill strikes a balance between contrasting interests of labor and employers,” he told reporters in a phone message late Wednesday.

Mr. Villanueva, who chairs the labor and human resources development committee, was among the sponsors of Senate Bill No. 1826, or the “Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act of 2018.”

The Senate approved the bill on third reading last May 22, and it was later adopted by the House of Representatives on May 28, doing away with the need for both chambers to harmonize the measure’s provisions. The proposed SoT Bill was transmitted to the Office of the President on June 27.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the President has 30 days to act on a bill upon receipt from Congress, or else it lapses into law.

“The bill adheres to the Constitution, which mandates the regulation of relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investment, and to expansion and growth.”

He noted the Senate is expecting the President to sign the measure ahead of his fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22.

The remarks followed a joint statement, issued by the Philippine Business Group-Joint Foreign Chambers, asking the President to veto the bill, which will amend Presidential Decree No. 442, or the Labor Code of the Philippines, by prohibiting labor-only contracting and defining penalties for noncompliance.

The statement, signed by thirteen business groups, noted that the bill involves issues already addressed by Department Order No. 174 of the Department of Labor and Employment and Executive Order 51, which need stronger enforcement.

Asked to comment, the President’s Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a briefing Thursday that while the President has not declared his intentions yet on the proposed measure, he will take business sentiment into consideration.

“He hasn’t talked about it. But you know, the problem with these bills as he explained it, there are so many documents he has to sign. And at the same time, he has so many activities that he has to attend to — (such as) out of town trips,” Mr. Panelo said. The Security of Tenure bill was among the priority bills identified by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council during the 17th Congress. “The President is always appreciative and considerate on whatever opposition or concerns raised by any sector in this country relative to any bill passed in Congress and subject to his signature or veto.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan