Palace: Duterte may consider vetoing ‘end endo’ bill upon NEDA recommendation

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President Rodrigo Duterte (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 25)— President Rodrigo Duterte may consider vetoing the proposed measure against labor contracting, after economic officials said the bill needed tweaking, his spokesman said Thursday.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Tuesday said it submitted recommendations and adjustments for the security of tenure bill, which requires businesses to directly hire employees and effectively prohibits the practice of outsourcing workers through manpower agencies.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia noted that "we have to be sure that the law benefits not only workers but also the employers."

“Doon sa security of tenure, merong suggestion si NEDA Secretary Pernia. Baka ico-consider ni Presidente ‘yun,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.

[Translation: For the security of tenure, NEDA Secretary Pernia had some suggestions. Maybe the President will consider them.]

“If the President feels that the observations of Sec Pernia is a good reason to veto the bill, he will,” he added. “If he feels that signing the law will create not beneficial effects to the major players, he might consider vetoing that. But if he does not feel that way, then he will sign that into law.”

The proposed security of tenure bill requires companies to absorb or regularize workers. It also states that all employees, except those on probationary status, will be treated like regular, including project and seasonal employees, entitling them to benefits received by regular workers. Duterte has until July 27 to sign the measure, or it will lapse into law.

Some business groups and private companies have appealed to the President not to sign the bill. Business groups noted the move may dampen overall economic activity in the country.

READ: Business leaders ask Duterte to veto 'end endo' bill

Panelo said lawmakers can introduce a similar bill which would provide a compromise solution for both sides.

“If he will veto the bill, members of Congress can introduce another one with the win-win compromise solution,” the spokesman said.

Duterte had certified the bill as urgent as early as September 2018, allowing lawmakers to fast-track its passage. Labor groups have called on him to fulfill his campaign promise of ending all forms of illegal contractualization or "endo."

CNN Philippines’ Alyssa Rola and Eimor Santos contributed to this report.