HOUSE Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Karlo “Ang Probinsyano” Nograles on Tuesday lauded the certification of the Security of Tenure Bill as urgent, saying the passage of the bill would benefit the country’s over forty million workers as well as college graduates poised to enter the workforce.
In a letter dated September 21 addressed to Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, President Rodrigo Duterte certified the Security of Tenure Bill as urgent, saying that the passage of the measure would strengthen workers’ security of tenure by disallowing “the prevalent practices of contractualization and labor-only contracting.”
“Our Constitution clearly provides protections for our workers. Article XIII, Section 3 says that the State shall afford full protection to labor, and it specifically says that our workers shall be entitled to security of tenure,” said the lawyer-legislator who graduated from the Ateneo School of Law.
“While the Labor Code is supposed to operationalize this provision, there are gray areas in the Labor Code that are exploited by employers; the Security of Tenure Bill should remedy this,” added Nograles.
An estimated 30% of all Filipino workers are non-regular workers, of which half are contractual.
The country’s new graduates, Nograles said, should be spared from this fate.
“Our youth study for 16, 17 years to obtain their college degrees in the hope of securing stable, gainful employment. After all their hard work, di makatarungan at masakit naman kung ang trabahong naghihintay para sa kanila ay puro 5-5-5,” lamented the solon from Davao.
The term “5-5-5” refers to the practice of giving employees five-month contracts, one month short of the six months that would require employers to regularize them.
The new bill prohibits labor-only contracting and provides penalties for those that violate its provisions. It limits job contracting to licensed and specialized services, categorizes workers into regular and probationary employees, and treats project and seasonal employees as regular employees.
Aside from providing security of tenure, it also establishes standards regarding probationary employment and provides for a “Transition Support Program” for employees while they are unemployed.