Statement on Duterte’s Veto of the Security of Tenure Bill

July 26, 2019

“Big foreign capitalists and their partner businesses are celebrating with the veto of the SoT Bill.”

This is the initial reaction of the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) on President Duterte’s Veto of the Security of Tenure Bill. Duterte vetoed the bill, last night, retracted an hour later and formalized the veto a day before it lapses into law. This was after several groups of businesses and employers such as the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc., etc. openly appealed to him to veto the said measure. 

CTUHR added that labor groups and advocates are dismayed, but definitely not surprised with the veto.  The labor rights group added that the President has used exactly the same arguments that capitalists are using to justify the long-time practice of contractualization, even offering a different interpretation of what is written in the Constitution. CTUHR added that Duterte did not even bother to pretend of calling out and warning employers to moderate their greed in their business conduct and avoid exploiting workers.

“Duterte has totally turned its back on the workers, as he vetoed the Security of Tenure bill. He can’t even pass a much watered-down version of the Anti-Contractualization Bill that by-passed a bicameral session to avaoid opposition. For the past 3 years, workers have been campaigning hard for Duterte to act on ending all forms of contractualization as he promised. But they have long been disappointed and realized that it was just a campaign promise to get their votes. Duterte, clearly, is still a mouthpiece of big foreign capitalists and big local businesses”said Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director. Employers has found an avid

CTUHR slams Duterte’s veto message that says that he will continue to stand by his “firm commitment to protect workers’ right to security of tenure by eradicating all forms of abusive employment practices.” 

“These are just popular words but they have no more meaning for the workers. It has become very clear for the workers that they only have themselves to lean on to reclaim their dignity and power to change their lives for themselves and their families,”CTUHR ended.###