MANILA -- Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday welcomed President Rodrigo R. Duterte's plan to certify as a priority bill Senate Bill No. 1116, or the proposed End of Endo Act, saying the President’s certification “will definitely help in the passage of a new law governing endo (end of contract).”
“Endo” applies to contractual workers whose terms of employment end after only five months, or one month short of the six-month requirement for them to be regularized.
Ending the practice was among the campaign promises of President Duterte.
Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, said his panel is already finalizing its End of Endo Bill report for plenary discussion.
"We will release the committee report as soon as we finished circulating the draft to the senators for inputs,” said Villanueva, who is the author of the bill.
Senate Bill No. 1116 seeks to provide stricter regulations on contractualization and simplifies the classification of employees to regular and probationary, and treats project and seasonal employees as regular employees.
Duterte’s certification would fast-track the passage of the End of Endo bill in the Senate as the House of Representatives has already passed its own version last January 29.
Villanueva said that his panel intends to call the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for another round of discussion before the release of the committee report when Congress session resumes this May.
"We have been actively coordinating with the DOLE since we believe that their inputs are crucial to ensure that the proposed measure will adequately address the realities on the ground. As the implementing agency in-charge of enforcing the laws on contractualization, we believe that the DOLE's participation in the policy-making process is crucial," the chair of Senate labor panel said.
Villanueva also said that they are still hoping that President Duterte would still issue an Executive Order (EO) on endo despite Malacanang's earlier pronouncements.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Thursday that the President is no longer keen on issuing an EO to stop endo and is instead leaving it to Congress to pass a law.
Roque said that the Palace is taking the position of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who said that legislation is more effective than an EO.
“I believe that there should still be a clear directive from the Executive on the national policy on contractualization which would be helpful to expedite the process,” Villanueva said.
"We still expect Malacañang to issue an EO to provide the framework and guidance for the implementation of a national policy on contractualization. We should know the clear position of the executive on this matter. We want to ensure that what we are legislating is useful and effective," he said. (PNA)