THE TRADE UNION Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) Party-list said it has filed its version of the Security of Tenure bill, one of various versions of the legislation in play seeking to end the practice of contractualization after a previous bill passed by Congress was vetoed.
TUCP Party-list Rep. Raymond C. Mendoza filed House Bill No. 4892 which if passed will be known as the Security of Tenure Act of 2019. It seeks to criminalize all forms of contractualization and ban all forms of fixed-term employment.
Contractualization, also known as “endo,” denies workers a pathway to permanent employment and benefits, typically by terminating employment before the 6-month deadline for achieving permanent status and forcing workers to sign up again also on a contract basis.
“The bill seeks to provide security of tenure to 9 million Filipino ‘endo’ workers who are being exploited today in a modern form of slave labor […] Endo workers experience not being paid the minimum wage, even as they go without social security, Philhealth and PAG-IBIG coverage. Further they are denied their Constitutional rights to organize and to bargain,” Mr. Mendoza said in a statement.
The measure aims to totally prohibit contracting, subcontracting, manpower agency hiring, and outsourcing, including those undertaken by so-called service cooperatives engaged in manpower supply.
“This Bill seeks to criminalize labor-only contracting which is already prohibited under our existing laws but is perpetually being circumvented to deprive workers of their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights to Security of Tenure,” according to the bill’s explanatory note.
Under the bill, all employees regardless of employment status or position cannot be dismissed without cause or due process.
The measure also provides that all employees, except those under probation, be considered regular including project-based and seasonal employees.
HB 4892 also prescribes fines of P50,000 to P5 million, and imprisonment of six months to one year for violators.
In his July 26 veto message to the Senate, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said that while he stands firm in his commitment to protect the workers’ right to security of tenure, the enrolled bill “unduly broadens” the scope of labor-only contracting, which is already banned by law. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras