THE coalition of the country’s largest labor groups, Nagkaisa, issued a unified opposition to some salient points of the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill crafted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), even as employers sought, and got an extension for submitting their inputs on the draft.
In its position paper submitted to DOLE on September 13, Nagkaisa said it found the SOT bill unacceptable because of a provision in its Section 2, which amended Article 106 of the labor code, allowing contractual arrangement.
“We find the language of the first four paragraphs of Section 2 [Article 106 Contracting Arrangement] pregnant to interpretation that can easily be subjected to abuse,” Nagkaisa National Chairman Jose Sonny Matula said in the statement.
Among the changes introduced by DOLE’s SOT bill directly stipulates that specific jobs or services may be contracted out except for “core business activities unless in cases of seasonal and project work arrangement.”
It defined core business as an activity or function that is an integral part of the principal line of business of the contractee.
The revision also allows the Labor Secretary to issue appropriate rules on contractualization in consultation with the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council.
Nagkaisa maintained that fixed-term employment should generally be banned.
Labor Assistant Secretary Benjo M. Benavidez earlier confirmed they already got the position paper of some labor stakeholders before the deadline for such last August.
But during the budget hearing at the Senate on Tuesday, he said they decided to defer anew the date for finalizing their draft SOT version to accommodate the request of some employer groups.
“We initially gave them until August to submit inputs, but the employers requested for an extension [of the submission period],” Benavidez said.
DOLE earlier said it
expects to wrap up consultations for its SOT bill by
October or November.
Benavidez, however, clarified the extension will not only apply to employers but also to labor groups.
“Once we collate the inputs from the sector, we are planning to meet with the economic managers [to get their inputs],” Benavidez said.
In a SMS, Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said they have submitted their position on the matter to DOLE.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said it was among the groups seeking more time to submit inputs on the SOT bill.
“The new version is a much improved version than the previous one submitted to Congress…but there are some issues that needs modification,” PCCI Chairman George T. Barcelon told the BusinessMirror in a phone interview.
Among the provisions they may want to be tweaked is on the joint solidarity liability of employers with their service providers, Barcelon said.