Employers' group on push to revive 'Anti-Endo' bill: 'It will not prosper'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) - A top official of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) believes that fresh calls to revive the 'Anti-Endo' bill will not prosper.

ECOP President Sergio Luis Ortiz told CNN Philippines on Thursday that the government must focus its efforts on reviving the economy and generating jobs rather than creating legislation that would potentially turn off investors.

"Even before pandemic problema na talaga ang employment. Ngayong may COVID ang daming nagsara, ang daming nag-downsize. So ang main reason dapat is to create jobs," Ortiz said.

[Translation: Even before the pandemic, employment has been encountering a number of problems. The situation worsened during the health crisis, with establishments closing down and reducing the workforce. The focus now should be to create jobs]

ECOP added that there is nothing new with the proposed measure which was vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte last June 2019.

"It can be endorsed but I don't think it has a chance to prosper," Ortiz said.

'Give us your version'

Senate Committte on Labor Chairperson Joel Villanueva said that he had already refiled the 'Security of Tenure and End Endo Act' in the 18th Congress.

The problem, however, remains since Malacañang has yet to submit its recommendation or version to Congress for the deliberations to start.

"Since we refiled the enrolled bill in 2019 as SBN 806, we have been waiting for the Executive for their version of the bill so we can deliberate it in the committee," Villanueva said in a statement.

The Department of Labor and Employment has submitted its recommendation to President Duterte through a letter urging him to certify the 'Anti-Endo' bill as urgent.

The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in December 2020.

Labor groups question the timing of DOLE's sudden push for the passage of the bill now, five years into the Duterte administration.

"Mapapaisip kami bakit ngayon lang ito ginawan ng aksyon na vineto ang Security of Tenure Bill at wala naman siyang ginawa," Defend Jobs Philippines said.

[Translation: We can't help but wonder on why Labor Secretary Bello is now acting on the Anti-Endo bill. He didn't do anything when Duterte vetoed it two years ago.]