By Genalyn Kabiling 

A new security of tenure bill must also provide security of the employers especially in dealing with “indolent” or incompetent workers, President Duterte proposed Sunday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the inauguration of the Candon City Bypass Road in Ilocos Sur on July 25, 2019. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


In his visit to quake-hit Batanes, the President defended his decision to veto the “unfair” SOT bill, and bared plans to “resubmit” a measure that will balance the interests of the employers and workers.

“‘Yung endo , security of tenure. Dapat sinunod nila ‘yung usapan. Do not make it hard for the capitalist also to move [On endo, security of tenure, they should have followed the agreement. Do not make it hard for the capitalist also to move],” he said during a post-disaster briefing in Batanes.

“The security of tenure should also provide the security of the capital…It should not be na kasi mahirap sila bigyan sila. Demokrasya ito. Diretso, tabla, tabla talaga [It should not be that just because they are poor, they should be given something. This is a democracy. It should be fair,” he said.

President Duterte recently vetoed the SOT bill amid concerns the alleged sweeping prohibition on labor-only contracting might result to business closures and job losses. Duterte said legitimate job-contracting should be allowed provided that the contractor is well capitalized, has sufficient investments, and affords its employees all the benefits provided for under the labor laws.

The bill, earlier certified as urgent by the President, sought to prohibit companies from hiring workers on a contractual basis and instead require them to directly hire and regularize employees.

According to the President, the SOT bill he vetoed is “not fair” and did not follow proposal of the National Economic and Development’s (NEDA) proposal “to a T.”

In seeking a new SOT measure, Duterte said he might “insert” a “fair” provision that will balance the rights of both employers and workers.

“I might resubmit it but let me just introduce something that would level off the…Kung pipilitin mo na, pangit naman kasi. May trabaho, may tamad. May ganun. May absenero. Kapag pinaalis mo tapos pupunta sa NLRC (National Labor Relations Commission) to go back to work, hindi maganda [If you insist on it, it will be ugly. Some people work while others are lazy. Some are habitual absentees. If you dismiss them, they will go to the NLRC to go back to work, that is not good],” he said.

Duterte sought protection for companies who are “saddled with” lazy or incompetent employees. He claimed that many firms end up facing labor complaints instead of being focused on helping his fellowmen.

“But the fact is kung itong tao is indolent, tamad, hindi marunong at saka walang IQ and then you are now saddled with one or two employees na kung tanggalin ko, he will go to arbiter sa NLRC, then they will be facing cases instead of helping his fellowmen, siya naman magkaproblema and it has happened many times [But the fact is if the person is indolent, lazy, not intelligent or has no IQ, and then you are saddled with one or two employee. If I remove him, he will go to the arbiter, the NLRC then they will be facing cases instead of helping his fellowmen. The company ends up with problems and it has happened many times],” he said.

“Fair is fair. Don’t make it a burden para sa akin to..I can help my fellowmen but do not make him a burden to me. Huwag mo ibigay sa akin yung to correct a behavior [Don’t give me the burden to correct a behavior],” he said.