Duterte certifies antiENDO bill as urgent -Palace
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has certified as urgent a bill seeking to prohibit laboronly contracting or “ENDO,” Malacañang announced on Tuesday, September 25.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. said the President is pushing for the immediate enactment into law of Senate Bill No. 1826, or the Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act of 2018.
“Itong bersyon po ng Senado ay nagbabawal sa lahat ng labor-only contracting at hindi po ini-exempt na itong mga contractor ay malaki ang kapital o maraming investments,” he cited.
Roque was referring to a provision in the existing Labor Code allowing the practice of labor-only contracting among companies with substantial capital or investments, which could be in the form of tools, equipment, machinery, or work premises.
“Ang posisyon po ng Presidente, sa loob ng existing Labor Code, tinapos na po niya ‘yung ENDO dahil pinapa-regularize na po ‘yung mga empleyado na hindi regular sa mga kumpanyang pinagtatrabahuhan nila,” the Spokesperson stressed.
“Pero may depensa po talaga ‘yung mga contractors at tsaka ‘yung mga employers, dahil exemption sa existing law ‘yung mga kumpanya, ‘yung mga recruiting companies na malaki ang kapital,” he added.
Roque said if passed into law, the anti-ENDO bill would prohibit any and all forms of labor-only contracting. It would also disallow the indirect hiring of employees by recruitment entities, which means all employees would have to be absorbed and regularized by the companies that directly use their services.
“Kinakailangan magtrabaho ka na doon sa pinagseserbisyuhan mo o ‘yung pinapasukan mo at hindi na po pupwedeng magkaroon ng mga labor recruitment entities… There has to be employer-employee relationship between the worker at ‘yung lugar na pinagtatrabahuhan,” the Cabinet official stated.
On the other hand, the Spokesperson clarified that companies would still be allowed to hire employees on a fixed-term contract for “seasonal or project-based” services.
“Kasi for instance ‘yung mga contemporary project naman, may ipapagawa ka, tapos na ‘yung bahay, alangan namang maging regular employee ka. So pupuwede po ‘yun, contracts for fixed services na gagawin po,” he explained.
Roque, a former Kabayan Party-list Representative, was the principal author of House Bill No. 00916 or the Anti-Endo Act in Congress. His bill was consolidated into House Bill No. 6908 or the Security of Tenure Bill and was approved by the House of Representatives last January 29.
‘Palace takes steps to address inflation’
During the same press briefing, Malacañang assured the public that the administration is taking concrete steps to address the impact of inflation in the country and to reduce the prices of basic food commodities.
“Ginagawa po natin lahat ‘yan. We’re in this together at makikita naman po natin na magkakaresulta na lahat po ng mga hakbang na ginagawa natin,” Secretary Roque stressed.
For one, he said the President has signed Administrative Order (AO) No. 13 removing non-tariff barriers and streamlining administrative procedures on the importation of agricultural products.
“Alinsunod sa pangako ng ating Presidente na hindi siya matutulog sa pansitan sa kabila ng pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin lalo na ng mga pagkain, nag-isyu na po at epektibo na po ang isang [AO] No. 13 na ang ninanais po ay padaliin po ‘yung proseso ng pag-angkat ng kinakailangan nating mga pagkain nang maibaba ang presyo ng mga bilihin,” he cited.
The AO seeks to streamline procedures and requirements in the accreditation of importers and minimize the processing time of applications for importation. It also exempts traders that are already accredited from registration requirements.
Furthermore, it seeks to facilitate the importation of certain agricultural products beyond their authorized Minimum Access Volume (MAV), and reduce or remove relative fees to ensure sufficient supply and more affordable prices of products in the markets.
AO No. 13 likewise calls for measures that would liberalize the issuance of permits and accreditation of traders who want to import rice to break the monopoly, as well as to temporarily allow direct but regulated importation by sugar-using industries to lower their input costs.
“Ito na po ‘yung katuparan doon sa sinabi ng economic team na they will issue [orders] para mapabilis ‘yung pagpasok ng mga inaangkat na pagkain at para masigurado ‘yung mas maagang delivery ng mga inangkat na pagkain sa merkado,” Roque said.
Apart from AO No. 13, the Palace official also announced the issuance of three Memorandum Orders aimed at reducing food prices in the country.
Memorandum Order No. 26 directs the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to adopt measures reducing the gap between farmgate prices and retail prices of agricultural products.
Memorandum Order No. 27, meanwhile, directs the DA, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to ensure the efficient and seamless delivery of imported agriculture and fishery products from the ports to local markets.
Lastly, Memorandum Order No. 28 directs the National Food Authority (NFA) to immediately release existing rice stocks in its warehouses.
“The agencies involved are given the obligation to report within one month what steps they have taken… Monthly po itse-check ng Executive Secretary natin kung tumutupad ‘yung mga ahensya na pinagbigyan ng ganitong kautusan,” Roque stressed. (PCO-Content)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 3rd Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Forum of the Asia Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (APAGE) at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on September 21, 2018, reiterates that one of the priorities of his administration is to improve the health care services of the country. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO