By Gillian M. Cortez, July 3 2019; Business World

Image Credit to ABS-CBN News

LABOR Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said he expressed to Malacañang his support for the Security of Tenure (SoT) Bill, which he expects to be signed before President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) later this month.

Mr. Bello told reporters Tuesday that the SoT Bill was transmitted to the Palace on Friday. He added that on Monday, he submitted a paper on behalf of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to show the department’s support for the bill.

“I submitted a memorandum in support of the bill and it was co-signed by (Department of Trade and Industry) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez,” he said.

The SoT Bill was approved on third reading by the Senate on May 22. The House of Representatives subsequently announced that it will adopt the Senate’s version, ruling out the need for the measure to be harmonized in conference committee.

With the SoT Bill now awaiting Mr. Duterte’s signature, Mr. Bello said that he hopes the measure can be signed within the next few weeks since it will form part of the President’s SONA program on July 22.

“I hope pipirmahan niya (he will sign) as soon as possible because this will be part of his SONA,” Mr. Bello said.

During the 2018 SONA, Mr. Duterte said that giving workers security of tenure will be his next priority. Promising to put an end to the practice of “endo,” a form of employment that denies workers a path to the benefits of permanent status, was a campaign promise he made in 2016. — Gillian M. Cortez