Duterte certifies anti-labor-only contracting bill as urgent — Palace

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The President has certified as urgent a bill that would prohibit all forms of labor-only contracting in the country, his spokesman said. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the President has certified as urgent a bill that would prohibit all kinds of labor-only contracting in the country.

"Itong bersiyon ng Senado ay nagbabawal sa lahat ng labor-only contracting at hindi po ineexempt na itong mga contractor na may malaki na capital or maraming investments," he told the media Tuesday.

[Translation: This version of the Senate prohibits all kinds of labor-only contracting and will not exempt contractors that have a lot of investments or capital.] 

 

Senate Bill 1826 or "The Security of Tenure or End of Endo Act" if enacted into law would repeal the provision in the Labor Code that allows labor-only contracting if the company has enough capital and assets. 

The bill defines labor-only contracting as a practice where a job contractor or a person supplying workers to employers, "merely recruits and supplies or places workers to a contractee."

This means employees would have to be directly hired by companies and not through labor-only contracting agencies once the law is implemented. Should employees remain under the supervision of these agencies, the company would have to absorb them or regularize them. 

Roque said this measure is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign promise to end "endo" or the practice where workers are hired for not more than five months, so employers don't need to regularize them on the sixth month as mandated by the Labor Code.

Roque said the bill was filed on July 4, 2016. It was passed by the House on January 29 this year, pending approval from the Senate. 

On May 2018, the President signed an Executive Order clamping down illegal contracting or ensuring workers' security of tenure. However, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said this did not cover all contracting practices, only those cited as unlawful. Duterte was later urged by lawmakers to ban all forms of labor contracting since it did not specifically address the problem of endo.

READ: Duterte orders clampdown on illegal contracting and subcontracting of workers