Voting 15-0, the upper chamber approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 1826, otherwise known as the proposed Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act.
The bill’s third reading approval came after it was passed on second reading with several amendments on the same day.
Congress dispenses with the three-day rule for measures certified by President Rodrigo Duterte as urgent.
The bill aims to provide social protection to workers by ensuring their constitutional right to security of tenure, through the prohibition on labor-only contracting.
Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, said the practice of contractualization affects more than 1.9 million workers in the private sector.
Overall, about three out of 10 Filipino workers are not regular and one out of two non-regular workers are contractual, he noted.
Endo is defined as "the scheme of continuously employing workers on a fixed period and replacing these workers again upon expiration of the contract with other workers on the same employment duration". The scheme is prevalent in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food service, and crop and animal production.
On the other hand, "contracting" refers to an arrangement whereby a principal agrees to engage the services of a contractor to perform or complete a specific job or work within a definite or predetermined period, regardless of whether such job or work is to be performed or completed within or outside the premises of the principal.
"Ending 'endo' is not anti-business. Guaranteeing the right to security of tenure gives our workers certainty and social protection. It makes them more efficient and more productive which is the primary concern of every business. Being pro-worker and pro-industry at the same time is not an impossibility," Villanueva explained.
The House of Representatives has already passed its own version in January last year.