Congress Passes “Anti-Endo” Bill on Third Reading
The Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1826, a bill that aims to end illegal contractualization on May 22. All 15 senators of the 17th Congress agreed to pass the amendment of the existing Labor Code and its provisions on the protection of employees from illegal job contractors practicing contractualization, also known as “end of contract.”
SB No. 1826, or the “Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act of 2018” will introduce amendments and new provisions to Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines to prohibit the practice of endo and grant workers with work security.
“We longed for this day to come, especially our workers who have suffered because of the evils of endo, a practice which corrupts the dignity of labor. We want to give all workers peace of mind when it comes to their employment status, that no worker can be dismissed without just or authorized cause, and due process,” said Senator Joel Villanueva, the principal author of the bill.
This comes weeks after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) urged businesses in Central Visayas to stay cautious when engaging with entities for the recruitment of additional personnel as they must only deal with legitimate contractors and subcontractors.
Senate Bill No. 1826 to amend Existing Labor Code Provisions
Under SB No. 1826, the government now requires job contractors to secure a license from DOLE before they can proceed with their operations. The payment for the license fee costs P100,000 and is valid for three years. The license is also subject to renewal under the compliance requirements prescribed by DOLE.
If the contractor operates without said license from DOLE, the labor agency will fine P30,000 for each worker employed under a contractual basis. The government will also ban the erring company from obtaining a license.
The bill also amends Article 294 of the Labor Code, wherein an employee can only be terminated by the employer for either an authorized or just cause. It also states that an employee who is unjustly dismissed shall be reinstated without loss of his/her seniority rights and other privileges such as benefits or their monetary equivalents.
Article 295 will now classify workers under 4 types of employment status, namely regular, probationary, project, and seasonal employees. Project and seasonal workers will receive the same rights as regular employees. They will also have access to benefits such as minimum wage payments and social security benefits.
The bill will establish a new mechanism for industry tripartite councils. This provides a venue for discussion with stakeholders, government, employee representatives, and other concerned bodies to discuss job functions eligible for outsourcing with a job contractor.
As SB No. 1826 passed its final reading in the Senate, Villanueva remains optimistic, believing there is enough time for the bicameral conference to discuss and finalize the said bill.
“The next phase of our struggle for the security of tenure bill is in the bicam (bicameral). We are determined to pursue this, especially that this measure has been certified urgent by the President,” Villanueva said on May 22.