By Chino S. Leyco
Lawmakers can overturn President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s decision to thumb-down the security of tenure (SOT) bill, but that is if Congress is willing to challenge the chief executive’s high trust ratings, the government’s economic manager said.
On the sidelines of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas bankers’ night last Friday, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III clarified that President Duterte is not against the measure, which aimed to end all forms of contractualization.
Dominguez said the President vetoed the so-called anti end-of-contract or “endo” bill because the measure was insufficient in balancing the interests of employees and employers.
But if Congress insists the enactment of the SOT, Dominguez said the lawmakers need two-third votes to overturn the presidential veto.
“Who knows? I mean if they want to challenge 85 percent approval rating, that’s up to them,” Dominguez said, referring to the recent nationwide survey conducted by Pulse Asia showing President Duterte was the most trusted top government official in the country.
According to Dominguez, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia was correct in saying that the enrolled SOT bill failed to “balance” the interests of all stakeholders.
“You have three elements — labor, capital, and management. Everybody’s role has to be enhanced simultaneously, it can’t be one or the other,” Dominguez said. “This SOT bill has to protect our competitiveness.”
“You know whatever they do, they have to remember also that the Supreme Court said promoting the interest of labor does not mean destroying capital or management,” he added.
For this reason, he said that Congress should revise and refile the SOT bill, “We invite you to think about it again.”
Last Friday, President Duterte vetoed the SOT bill a day before its automatic lapsing into law on July 27.
The chief executive said there was a need to balance the interests of businesses and workers.
Pernia earlier said the government should work on how to give the benefits required by the employees, but at the same time not to discourage the business sector from investing in the country.
He said the enrolled SOT bill was “not perfect,” noting “essentially there is a need for tweaking to address some of the provisions.”