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Duterte vetoes contract labor bill in boost for Philippine business

Employers hail last-minute move as a 'wise decision' by self-styled socialist

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, speaks at the Nikkei's Future of Asia conference on May 31, in Tokyo. (Photo by Yuki Nakao)

MANILA -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a self-styled advocate of labor rights who has threatened companies that hire workers on contracts, on Friday vetoed a bill that would have forced businesses to turn temporary staff into regular employees.

Duterte's move is a win for employers who had warned the proposed law would increase costs and hurt competitiveness, but a loss for labor groups that had banked on his pro-worker leanings. Both sides had been on edge in recent days as the bill would have automatically become law this weekend had the president not acted.

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