DIWA PARTY-LIST CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE FOR SECURITY OF TENURE OF WORKERS

DIWA Party-list has been an active advocate the rights and welfare of our workers. During the first term of DIWA or in the 15th Congress, Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar filed the proposed measure to strengthen the security of tenure of workers. The said measure was approved on committee level but did not reach the plenary.  The same measure was refiled in the 16th Congress, however, it just remained pending with the Committee on Labor and Employment. Despite this, DIWA continued to support the proposed measure to strengthen the security of tenure and refiled the same bill during the 17th Congress.

 

On January 29, 2018, the Security of Tenure Bill was approved on third reading by the House of Representatives. The President also certified the Security of Tenure Bill as ‘urgent legislative measure” on September 2018.

 

The propose measure aims to strengthen the job security of the workforce or the security of tenure of every worker. The consolidated bill (House Bill 6908), which was principally authored by former DIWA Representative Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, amends the Labor Code to address the long-standing problem of contractualization and abuse on labor rights as well as work conditions.

House Bill 6908, or “Act strengthening the security of tenure of workers, amending for the purpose Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, Otherwise known as the ‘Labor Code of the Philippines,” aims to end the problem with “Endo” and “5-5-5 .”  This legislative measure will prohibit employers to employ or contract workers for limited period, or “fixed-term” employment. Employing a person for the same job on several occasions, but only offering a five-month contract with each agreement or more commonly known as “5-5-5” is also strictly prohibited.

The main objective is to strengthen the security of the work tenure with the  proposed change in the definition of prohibited labor-only contracting as well as the prohibition of sub-contracting to minimize the contractualization. A contractor who is “labor-only” is considered illegal if an employer does not have sufficient capital or equipment, has no control over the duties of his or her worker, or if the nature of the contractor is directly linked to the main business. The bill also provides the procedure for licensing of legitimate contractors to prevent abuse of the contract.

The bill also aims to regard the employee’s unlawful removal without due process in addition to the current grounds without just cause or an authorized cause. It is stated in the consolidated bill that a worker who has been proven illegally dismissed has the right to reinstatement in his or her previous job and shall not lose “seniority” and privilege, such as benefits, “back wages”, etc.

Only fixed-term employment contracts are permitted in the case of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), probation workers, reliever relocates for temporary leave employees, project employees, and seasonal workers.

This measure proposes to strengthen the implementation of security tenure through the imposition of heavier penalties on employers who violate the rights of their workers.

The approval by the House of Representatives of this bill is a big step towards achieving our goal of terminating contractualization and abusive working conditions. DIWA is hopeful that this measure will gain further relevance in the next Congress and soon be enacted into law.

DIWA party-list will continue to advocate for the security of tenure of workers as well as all the other rights of workers to promote a dignified employment for all.