Palace rejects 2-year probation period

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    MALACAÑANG yesterday rejected a proposed bill at the House of Representatives, which seeks to extend the employment probation period to two years from six months.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, concurrent presidential spokesman, said he agrees with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III who is opposed to House Bill 4802 filed by Rep. Jose Singson Jr. of the party-list group Probinsyano Ako.

    Panelo said the proposal goes against President Duterte’s policy against contractualization and the end of contract (“endo”) system, and he is likely to veto the measure if passed by Congress.

    “If that (end endo) is the policy of the President, then you don’t even need an assurance from him. It means, that he will veto whatever law that goes against his policies or pronounced policy,” he said.

    Singson said he believes the current six-month probation period is not a sufficient to determine if an employee is qualified for regular employment, especially if positions require specialized skills or talents.

    Bello, however, said prolonging the probationary period would violate a workers’ right to security of tenure and hoped that President would veto it if it is enacted by Congress.

    Duterte, during the 2016 presidential campaign, said he is against the endo practice and wants to eliminate it within his term.

    In July this year, the President, vetoed the Security of Tenure Bill as he said it “unduly broadens the scope and definition of prohibited labor-only contracting, effectively proscribing forms of contractualization that are not particularly unfavorable to employees involved.”

    He added that a sweeping expansion of the definition of labor-only contracting “destroys the delicate balance and will place capital and management at an impossibly difficult predicament with adverse consequences to the Filipino workers in the long term.”