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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ratification campaign for ILO Convention 189 gathers momentum as DOLE goes island-wide

The campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 189, or the Domestic Workers' Convention, is gathering momentum as it takes on board many more social partners. This month, the campaign is also going around the country's regions and provinces to reach out to more people.

In a speech before enthusiastic partners from the tripartite sectors and civil society at the three-day National Summit on Domestic Workers at the Ateneo de Manila University last week, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz thanked supporters of ILO Convention 189 for coming all out for its ratification.

"This demonstrates that our effort to bring vulnerable workers under the umbrella of decent work will not just be "ningas cogon" (passing enthusiasm), but will soon be a reality. This also attests to our capability to face up to our responsibility in responding decisively to the vulnerability at work of our disadvantaged workers," she said.

"Napakalinaw po ang mensahe na mayroon po tayong gustong ayusin at baguhin sa hanay po ng mga sinasabi nating vulnerable sectors at talagang ipinakikilala natin na kaya po nating harapin ito at dalhin sa mas mataas na antas ng paggawa ang ating mga domestic workers," she added.

The labor and employment chief announced that in the next two weeks, the DOLE-led campaign, spearheaded by the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Domestic Work headed by Labor Relations Undersecretary Hans Leo G. Cacdac, will hold forums in the Visayas and Mindanao to elicit further inputs to the Kasambahay Bill and drive home the point that domestic work is decent work and that domestic workers, like any other worker, have rights to social protection.

The campaign is part of the Philippines's efforts to be the first two countries in the world to ratify ILO Convention 189 required to bring it to global force and effect.

Another goal of the campaign is the enactment into law of the Kasambahay Bill or Magna Carta for Domestic Workers, which Baldoz said no less than President Benigno S. Aquino III had certified as a legislative priority of the administration.

Baldoz lauded the participation in the Summit—organized by the Visayan Forum and the Samahan at Ugnayan ng mga Manggagawang Pantahanan sa Pilipinas, Inc. (SUMAPI)—of the country's trade union movement, notably the Federation of Free Workers, and employers represented by the Employers' Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), key government agencies, and non-government organizations.

She also thanked the Bishops-Businessmen's Conference for Human Development, the Ateneo de Manila University's Institute of Social Order, other religious groups, the academe, and civil society organizations for galvanizing support to the ratification.

Other prominent supporters of the ratification campaign that she cited included the US Department of State Department, the UK-based Anti-Slavery International and Comic Relief, and the ILO.

Ma. Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, president and executive director of the Visayan Forum Foundation, had complimented the DOLE for its efforts and commitment to sustain the ratification campaign. She noted that the DOLE under Secretary Baldoz was instrumental in the adoption of Convention 189 by the 183-member country ILO in June.


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