Last September, President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent the Security of Tenure bill, which seeks to prohibit what he described as “prevalent” practices of labor contractualization and labor-only contracting.

Senate approves on final reading the ‘Anti-Endo’ bill

(Philstar.com) - May 22, 2019 - 5:12pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 6:01 p.m.) — The Senate on Wednesday approved on third and final reading the Security of Tenure Bill just before Congress adjourns in three weeks.

Voting 15-0, senators okayed the measure which seeks to prohibit the practice of labor-only contracting or the so-called “endo,” a Filipino-coined term for “end of contract.”

Endo is an abusive labor practice where a worker is hired for up to five months to skirt a labor law which requires grant of permanent tenure on the sixth month of service.

Under the bill, workers are classified under four employment types: regular, probationary, project and seasonal.

The proposed measure also states that project and seasonal workers have the same rights as regular employees like the payment of minimum wage and social protection benefits, among others, for the duration of their employment.

Among President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign promises was to bar the practice of hiring employees on short-term contracts. The government is still to amend any of the labor laws.

Duterte certified as urgent the measure last September. In a letter addressed to congressional leaders, the president said the practices “continue to immerse our workers in a quagmire of poverty and underemployment.”

The Labor department earlier issued Department Order 174, which imposed a complete ban on labor-only contracting.

But the 12-page DO 174 did not completely prohibit job contracting, an arrangement where an employer, known as the principal, farms out jobs to a third-party contractor who then hires workers of its own.

Various stakeholders had expressed their concern that removing endo, without making it clear that “legitimate contractualization” will remain, might make the country less competitive. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral with a report from The STAR/Paolo Romero

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