‘End endo’ bill up for Duterte’s signature

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 28) — The bill seeking to strengthen workers’ security of tenure and prohibit labor-only contracting is now up for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature after the House adopted the Senate’s version of the measure.

By adopting the Senate bill, Congress would do away with the bicameral conference committee which is required if both chambers do not agree on the provisions of a measure.

Bypassing the bicam greatly increases its chances getting passed into law, as the measure could have gotten stuck in the panel until Congress adjourns on June 7, sending it to the archive.

If Duterte signs the bill into law, employees would have to be directly hired by companies and not through labor-only contracting agencies, which only recruit and supply workers to a contractee. Should employees remain under the supervision of these agencies, the company would have to absorb them or regularize them.

It also states that all employees, except those who are probationary, will be treated like regular, including project and seasonal employees, entitling them to benefits received by regular workers. The services of any employee cannot be terminated without just and unauthorized cause.

Labor groups pressed Duterte to fulfill his campaign promise of ending “endo” or “end of contract” — a form of contractualization widely practiced in the country where workers are hired for not more than five months, so employers can skirt the Labor Code which mandates the regularization of employees on the sixth month.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.