Malacañang on Sunday rejected a lawmaker’s proposal to extend the period of probationary employment from six months to two years.
Rep. Jose Singson Jr., a businessman, said the bill he had filed would enable all workers “to enjoy continuous employment for more than six months.”
He said employers could regularize workers any time within the two-year period.
He said House Bill 4802 does not mention any provision restricting employers from regularizing their workers.
The proposal aims to extend the six-month probationary employment period to up to two years.
“If the proposed 24 months is passed, employees will not face termination [at once], and they will not lose their jobs,” Singson said.
“At least, they still have income instead of losing their jobs after five months or six months. With such, they go around and around seeking another employment and spend [so much] just to find one.”
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier opposed a proposal that he said would “deprive” employees of their right to security of tenure.
Malacañang echoed Bello.
“I agree with him. Precisely, we are against the six-month probationary period because you will prolong it,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a radio interview.
Bello said he will ask President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the bill if it is passed by Congress.
The proposed measure may lead to more cases of illegal contractualization or depriving workers of the benefits enjoyed by a regular employee, Bello said.
Under existing laws, workers can only be placed under a probationary period of up to six months unless an apprenticeship agreement requires a longer time frame.
This provision has led to the controversial practice where employers hire workers for a period of less than six months.
President Duterte has vowed to end contractualization during his campaign in 2016, but halfway through his term he has yet to fulfill his promise.
The President earlier certified as urgent the Security of Tenure bill, but he vetoed it in July.
He said the bill destroys the balance between the conflicting interests of laborers and workers. With Rio N. Araja