By Azer Parrocha
MANILA – Before he decides whether to sign or veto the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill, President Rodrigo Duterte may first consider opposition from a coalition of business groups, Malacañang said on Thursday.
“The President is always appreciative and considerate on whatever opposition or concerns raised by any sectors in this country relative to any bill passed in Congress and subject to his signature or veto,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
In a joint statement, the business groups claimed that the proposed measure goes against the constitutional rights of businesses because it increases the cost of doing business which may hinder their operations.
The group further explained that the bill could even push employers to eliminate low-skilled jobs and instead prefer using technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence.
The SOT bill, which was transmitted to Duterte’s office early this month, may lapse into law if the chief executive fails to sign it.
Panelo explained that the President sometimes allows bills to lapse into law due to his busy schedule.
“There are so many documents he has to sign and at the same time, he has so many activities that he has to attend to — out of town trips, he visits one place and then another place,” Panelo said.
“Meanwhile, documents pile up. Kaya kung minsan, di niya nakikita yung iba (That’s why sometimes, he fails to see the others),” he added.
Earlier, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) expressed hope that Duterte would sign the SOT bill soon noting that ensuring the workers’ security of tenure is among the President’s priorities.
“We are anticipating the signing of the SOT bill, which is landmark legislation under the Duterte administration,” Bello said in a statement.
The SOT bill seeks to prohibit all illegal employment schemes and subcontracting of Filipino workers. (PNA)