Instead of merely expressing optimism for Congress to pass Security of Tenure (SOT) Bill, Mr. Duterte, at the very least, should instruct his allies in the Senate not to obstruct the enactment of SBN 1826 or the End of Endo Act of 2018.
“Almost sounding like a squeak, the call asking the Congress to pass measures that will fully protect workers’ rights especially to security of tenure and self-organization is uncharacteristic of the president who usually expresses policy instructions in colorful language,” observes Josua Mata, secretary general of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at progesibong Manggawa (Sentro).
According to Mata, the
17th Congress have nine sessions left before the new Congress is called into
order after the May election, and the Senate has yet to pass SBN 1826 on second
and third reading.
“If they are really
interested in supporting workers, the senators could simply forgo amending the
bill. After all, the current version is already a compromise version,” Mata
To recall, according to Mata,
re-electionist senator Cynthia Villar expressed her intention to introduce
amendments to the SOT Bill, forcing the measure to enter a prolonged period of
“Failing to disclose her
amendments until now, Senator Villar is silently but effectively killing the
proposed security of tenure law,” Mata said. “The practice of declaring your
intent to introduce amendment to a measure and then sitting on it is a favored
tactic readily employed by legislators who do not want to be seen as opposing that
bill,” he added.
There is no reason why
the 17th Congress can’t pass the SOT Bill. “In fact, the Senate
would take only a day to simply adopt the version of the House of
Representatives, which was approved as early as January 2018,” Mata said.
Against this backdrop, Mata declared that, “the failure of the passage of the SOT is the failure of Mr. Duterte as a president!”