THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it is still consulting economic managers and the business sector on its draft security of tenure (SoT) bill, further delaying its scheduled submission to Congress this month.
Assistant Labor Secretary Benjo Santos M. Benavidez told BusinessWorld Tuesday that DoLE still needs to send its draft to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Finance (DoF) for comment. He noted that the economic team’s input is vital if the new measure is to avoid being vetoed like the previous SoT bill.
“We have yet to get inputs from other government agencies: NEDA, DTI, and DoF,” he said, to ensure that the government has a unified view on how to proceed with the new bill.
On July 26, President Rodrigo R. Duterte vetoed Senate Bill 1826. Creating an SoT law was a campaign promise of Mr. Duterte when he ran for president in 2016.
DoLE had submitted a letter of support for the earlier bill before the president’s veto, with DTI as a co-signatory. Also before the veto, NEDA stated that Senate Bill 1826 needs to be “tweaked” in order to allow flexibility for employers in hiring. NEDA also added that passing the bill could weaken investments. DoF backed the statement issued by NEDA.
Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva on July 29 refiled the same bill during the opening of the 18th Congress. His father, Cibac party-list Rep. Eddie C. Villanueva, filed the House version of the bill on Aug. 5.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said earlier this month that Malacañang ordered DoLE to create its own version of the bill, which he hoped will be submitted to Congress by the end of August. Mr. Benavidez said it is likely submission will be pushed back to next month.
“We want to make sure the one we will submit will be one that has the support of all the executive departments,” he said. — Gillian M. Cortez