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Villanueva refiles exact copy of vetoed Security of Tenure bill

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By Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

Making good his vow not to give up his fight against contractualization or “endo”, Senator Joel Villanueva on Monday refiled the Security of Tenure bill.

Sen. Joel Villanueva (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Sen. Joel Villanueva
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Villanueva said his Senate Bill No. 806 was the exact same copy of the enrolled Security of Tenure bill that President Duterte had certified as urgent but vetoed just last week.

He said he did this so that the Senate will be clarified on the specific provisions that prompted the Chief Executive’s rejection of the bill.

“We wanted to find out from the President’s men or the officials that influenced the President to veto this and pinpoint what particular provisions were problematic for them; what particular provisions were, according to them, would not help or hurt our economy; would not create jobs; and expand the definition of labor-only contracting,” Villanueva said in an interview after filing the SB 806 in the Senate’s Bills and Index office.

Villanueva is the Senate labor committee chairman who sponsored the vetoed Security of Tenure bill during the 17th Congress.

Pondering on the Duterte’s veto message, he said the President may have been “misinformed” by his advisers.

The Senate labor committee chairman said he will make sure that the officials of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) are present in the panel’s discussion of the refiled Security of Tenure bill.

To recall, the NEDA recommended the veto of the enrolled anti-endo bill. In its position submitted to Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, the NEDA described the Security of Tenure bill as “anti-employment, anti-small business, and anti-new business”.

It added that the measure “fails to address the major cause of the ‘endo’ practice.”

“I’m more than willing to talk to them (NEDA),” Villanueva said.

In refiling his Security of Tenure bill, Villanueva reiterated that the proposal only prohibits and imposes penalties on the “illegal” practice of contractualization. He said he agrees with the Palace’s position that the government cannot ban all forms of job contracting.

Negating the grounds cited for the veto, Villanueva said business sectors, under the bill, were allowed to determine what services they can outsource.

Villanueva said he will also seek clarification as to how the supposed expansion of the definition of labor-only contracting would be detrimental to the “delicate balance” between employers and their workers.

“Kung ako po ang tatanungin (If you ask me), I don’t think there [is] such thing as ‘delicate balance’ because everytime the management and the laborers ay mag-uusap sa mga usaping ganito, lagi nga pong nanalo ‘yong management (meet to discuss such issues, the management always wins). Wala naman laging laban ‘yong labor doon sa management (The laborers always lose to the management),” he lamented, referring to the veto message.

He explained that the definition of labor-only contracting provided under the measure sought to clarify the arbitrary discretion of labor inspectors.

The President vetoed the Security of Tenure bill days before it was supposed to lapse into law.

Read more: Duterte vetoes Security of Tenure bill

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier assured to prioritize the measure once refiled in the Upper Chamber.

Villanueva said he does not mind getting heartbroken anew should Duterte veto the Security of Tenure bill for the second time.

“I’d rather fight for it because this is what is right,” he said.

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