To secure workers’ tenure but… endo bill to weaken business survival
Carlo Lorenciana (The Freeman) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — As "ENDO Bill" now nears passage, the Cebu business sector expresses its support to workers' security of tenure but raises perennial challenges faced by businessmen.

"Laws should take into consideration the plight of the business," Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Virgilio Espeleta told The FREEMAN yesterday, when asked whether the business group supports the bill's eventual passage.

"We should look at the whole economic ecosystem," the chamber president said.

On Wednesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 1826 or the ENDO Bill, a measure that aims to end illegal contractualization and a reform President Duterte had promised when he campaigned for presidency in 2016.

"As we anticipate the passing of (this bill), we agree on the objective to 'protect workers who have suffered because of the evils of endo, a practice which corrupts the dignity of labor,' per Sen. Joel Villanueva, principal author of the bill," Espeleta said.

However, the business leader also expressed the concerns of companies.

"On the business side, the concern has always been about survival, competitiveness, influx of foreign players, importation, increasing taxes, higher costs of doing business, plus bureaucratic regulations that impede growth and sustainability," the CCCI official pointed out.

With today's challenging business environment, he said there's no guarantee for business owners to survive.

"The appetite to go into business might be dampened if we do not take into account the concerns of enterprises who have yet to hurdle their birth and growth pains and adjust to business disruptions amidst these regulations," he said.

Meanwhile, the ENDO Bill guarantees security of tenure for employees by preventing labor-only contracting.  Espeleta said the sector welcomes the provision to classify workers into four types namely: regular, probationary, project and seasonal.

"We enjoin our member-companies to ensure the well-being of their employees as well as generate their shared commitment to productivity and meritocracy," he said.

The bill would also require contractors to obtain a license from the Department of Labor and Employment to engage on job contracting.

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