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Sunday, June 21, 2009

RP welcomes high-level ILO mission


The Philippines has accepted the proposal of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to send a high level mission that, among others, would consult with various stake holders to obtain a better understanding of the allegations of violation of ILO standards on workers freedom and protection to organize, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said.


Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said that Undersecretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz announced before the Committee on the Application of Standards of the on-going 98th Session of the International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland the Philippine Government's acceptance of the high level ILO mission in the country.  Baldoz heads the Philippine Tripartite Delegation to the ILC.


Roque said the request for the Philippine Government to accept the ILO mission was made during the 96th Session of the ILC in 2007 following the debates on the Philippine compliance with ILO Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize.


ILO Convention No. 87 is one of the eight ILO core Conventions ratified by the Philippines on  December 29, 1953. It provides for the right of the workers and employers without any distinction, to establish and join organizations of their own choosing, with a view to further and defend their interest, without authorization.


Roque said the government welcomes the ILO mission to the Philippines after the tripartite partners adopted the Philippine Decent Work Common Agenda 2008-2010 with the theme: "Narrowing Decent Work Deficits".  He said that thorough consultations with implementing government agencies and social partners have been made to pave the way for country's acceptance of the ILO mission.


He said the ILO mission aims to clarify issues and identify areas in which ILO could provide technical support and assistance on the application of ILO Convention No. 87 including guaranteeing the freedom and protection of workers and unionists.  He added that the mission's mandate is to recommend legislative, judicial, and policy reforms with a view to harmonize national laws and practice for the effective application of Convention No. 87.


At the ILC, Baldoz said the country welcomes the opportunity for the High ILO mission to have direct contacts with the complainants in the ILO cases and concerned competent authorities.


This will enable the ILO mission to have a better appreciation and understanding of the cases as well as government initiatives towards ensuring the full protection guaranteed under ILO Convention No. 87, Baldoz said adding that direct contacts with complainants and with concerned competent authorities will also enable the ILO mission to recommend appropriate measures towards ensuring fair investigation, prosecution and conviction of the violators.


Baldoz also said that several tripartite initiatives were lined up under the Decent Work Agenda such as: labor reforms harmonizing national law in conformity with Convention 87, labor education program, capability building, social dialogue, among others toward strengthening Philippine compliance with the ILO ratified Conventions.


This year's ILC also highlights the debate and discussion on the impact of the economic and financial crisis, with visiting heads of states, prime ministers, labor ministers and heads of financial institutions as discussants. A first ever three-day Summit on Global Jobs Crisis is also scheduled as a venue where policy responses at the national and international level would be discussed to address the job crisis.

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