TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan Third District Representative Randolph Ting said the House Bill 6908 seeking to strengthen the security of tenure of employees in the private sector is targeted to be passed into law as the world celebrates Labor Day on May 1.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday, January 30, approved on third reading the bill which seeks to amend the Labor Code Law.
In an interview, Ting, who chairs the House Committee on Labor and Employment, said the proposed law will “drastically” change the interpretation of the labor-only contracting, prohibiting the practice of contracting out of the same work contracted out by an employer.
In the proposed law, there is ‘labor-only’ contracting when the person supplying workers to an employer does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises, among others, or has no control over the workers’ methods and means of accomplishing their work or the workers recruited and placed by such persons are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of such employer.
In such cases, the person or intermediary shall be considered merely as an agent of the employer who shall be responsible to the workers in the same manner and extent as if the latter were directly employed by him.
Ting said that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the secretary and the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council, will make determine if the company is operating under labor-only contracting, which is now prohibited by the proposed law, or the legitimate job contracting, which is permitted in accordance with the Labor Code.
He added that the current law provided a “vague” definition of the “labor-only contracting.”
“Kasi dito very definitive na ‘yung meaning nung labor-only contracting. Kasi it used to be na kapag labor-only contracting ka, eh dapat wala kang enough capital, and directly related siya. “Yun lang ang magiging labor-only contracting. Kapag wala kang enough capital at investment in terms of tools, labor-only contracting na siya. Then kung wala kang direct supervision over the employees employed, it is already labor-only contracting,” Ting said.
The bill, according to Ting, will also seek to address issues of the 555 employments, or the practice of terminating the employees on the 5th month to avoid regularization.
He said employees who had already worked for the company for one month would be entitled to a half-month pay as separation pay if terminated without “just cause.”
This move will protect the rights of the employees to be treated as regular employees for the duration of the of the engagement or project, he said.
“And the idea kasi dito during the recruitment kasi, eh di may hiring requirement, eh may mga qualifications kang hinihingi eh. So konti lang naman na siguro ‘yung babagsak na diyan, dahil kung hindi, ibig sabihin, pangit ‘yung hiring o recruitment policies, or recruitment method mo,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ting, citing sources, said President Rodrigo Duterte is set to sign a new executive order on the security of tenure based on the House’s version of the anti endo bill, hinting a support from Duterte to sign the bill into law.
“And we’re very happy at the committee because this security of the tenure started way back 12 years ago. It never reaches the plenary nga for debates. So for the first time in history, ‘yung hindi na-accomplish for 12 years, ay natapos in just one and half year,” he said. Northernforum.net