DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary Silvestre Bello III on Saturday rejected the proposal to extend the probationary period of employees from six months to two years.
“Hindi namin alam ano ang dahilan kung bakit nag-sponsor ang Ang Probinsyano party-list ng a longer period of probation. With due respect, ang DOLE has a different position kasi masyado naman atang mahaba ‘yan,” Bello said in an interview.
“Tama naman ‘yung six months (na probationary period) without prejudice kung mayroong usapan, may agreement between the employer and employee na they can have a longer period. Otherwise dapat sundin ‘yung probationary period na six months,” he said.
“After six months, regular (status), automatic na,” Bello added.
Probinsyano Ako party-list Representative Jose “Bonito” Singson Jr. filed House Bill 4802, saying the six-month probationary employment period prescribed under the Labor Code is not enough to assess whether an employee is qualified for regularization, particularly in positions requiring specialized skills and talents.
The measure is currently pending before the House Committee on Labor and Employment.
Bello said labor laws say an apprenticeship agreement after a six-month probationary period may be entered into between employer and employee if there is a need to learn special skills or there is a new requirement.
“Under the Labor Code, puwede naman ‘yung longer period provided there is an agreement that after six months there is an apprenticeship agreement between employer and employee. Magtatrabaho ka pa rin pero hindi ka pa rin regular, pero may special agreement,” he said.
Bello clarified that such agreements depend on the position being applied for.
The Labor secretary also said should the proposed measure pass Congress, they will recommend to the President that he veto the bill.
“Congress will decide and of course the President. Assuming na papasa and the President will ask the Department of Labor kung ano ang posisyon namin, we will recommend a veto, kasi kawawa naman ang ating mga manggagawa,” Bello said.
He added that President Rodrigo Duterte has made known he is against contractualization, wherein an employee does not get to become regularized after six months due to end of contract.
“Ayaw na ayaw ng ating Pangulo ‘yung 5-5-5. ‘Yung mga pasaway na employer, para hindi ka maging regular, after five months tinatanggal ka muna. After an interval of one or two months, ire-rehire ka just to avoid ‘yung pagiging regular na employee,” Bello said. (GMA News)