Press Release
July 19, 2019

Villanueva on the lookout for gov't push to promote, protect interest of Filipino workers on Monday's SONA

Senator Joel Villanueva is looking forward hearing the President's determined push to protect and promote the interests of Filipino workers with the signing of the bills on Security of Tenure and Service Charge at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) next week.

In a statement, Villanueva said the public was eager to find out the outcome of the Security of Tenure bill, a measure popularly known as the "End Endo" bill that seeks to put an end to the practice of illegal labor contracting.

The President asked Congress to pass the bill at last year's SONA, certifying the measure as urgent subsequently. Congress delivered on the presidential mandate and passed the bill, which was transmitted to Malacanang last month.

"The bill adheres to the Constitution, which mandates the regulation of relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth," he explained.

"Thus, the Security of Tenure bill manages to strike a balance between contrasting interests of labor and employers," he continued.

He expressed hope that the President would sign into law the measure, which he certified as a priority measure in his last year's SONA. The legislature delivered on his intention to get rid of Endo, which Villanueva described as a practice that robs the "dignity of honest labor."

The bill on distributing the full amount of service charge collected at restaurants, hotels and similar establishments to employees is likewise awaiting the signature of the President, Villanueva said.

Currently, 85 percent of the service charge collected at the above-mentioned establishments are distributed to employees, while management retains the remaining 15 percent to cover for breakages and losses.

"The bill ensures that those who provide service at hotels, restaurants and the like will benefit from the service charge collected from customers," he said.

Villanueva also expects the President to tackle other measures that will advocate for the interest of Filipino labor.

The rise of illegal foreign workers and the Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) sector are a growing cause for concern, according to Villanueva, who headed the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resource development in the previous congress.

Villanueva said POGO sector must be carefully monitored because it may do more harm than good to the country's economy.

"We have to be careful about this new industry because the benefits we stand to lose may be greater than those we could gain," Villanueva said.

He reiterated his position the POGO sector's impact is minimal at best since it primarily does not create employment opportunities for Filipinos, and the industry's rise is causing a stress in the real estate market to the detriment of Filipino businesses and workers.

Brisk demand is driving office lease prices upwards, which makes it more expensive for businesses such as BPOs, an industry that Villanueva described as "reliable" in generating jobs for Filipinos.

On the other hand, residential rent rates are soaring high as well, leaving in the cold Filipino workers who seek shelter near their places of work in urban areas, the senator added.

He said he intended to file a resolution to examine the supposed benefits from the POGO industry.

News Latest News Feed