At the World of Work Summit, Baldoz updates global community on PH's progress in guaranteeing workers' rights

Date Posted: July 22nd, 2014 03:15 AM

Geneva--Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz had emphasized the continued relevance of the International Labor Organization in advancing and guaranteeing the rights of workers, citing the ILO's big help to the Philippines in its implementation of Convention 87 (Freedom of Association).     

As one of six panelists at the recently-concluded World of Work Summit, a major event at the 103rd International Labor Organization, Baldoz underscored how the Philippines, under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III, is ensuring the effective exercise of trade union rights and prevention of violations of workers’ rights towards an enabling environment free from violence, pressure, fear, and duress.

The World of Work Summit, held on the theme, Developing with Jobs, was keynoted by Prof. Deepak Nayyar, professor of Economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. BBC journalist Andrew Walker moderated the Summit. Baldoz's co-panelists were Sr. Alfonso Navarrete Prida, Minister of Labor of Mexico; Ahmed Ammar Youmbai, Minister of Labor of Tunisia; Nicolas Schmit, Minister of Labor, Employment and Economy of Luxembourg; Erol Kiresepi, Chief Executive Officer of Santa Farma Pharmaceuticals of Turkey; and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.

"Prior to the Aquino III administration, 62 cases of alleged 'extra-judicial killings' were recorded. These alleged violations of trade union rights became the subject of an ILO High Level Mission to the Philippines in 2009 because of allegations of impunity due to slow progress in the prosecution of cases of extra-judicial killings and violence against trade union activists, organizers, or union members purportedly committed by elements of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines," Baldoz said.

Baldoz, who was then undersecretary of the DOLE, was the focal person for the ILO High Level Mission.

She said the observations and recommendations of the High Level Mission were highly considered by the Philippines towards genuine reforms on protecting trade union rights and prevention against violations. 

"In 2010, we have created a high-level tripartite monitoring body on the application of international labour standards, known as NTIPC-MB, with the Secretary of Labor and Employment as chairperson," she explained.

The NTIPC-MB, with members from federations and national unions affiliated to the International Trade Union Congress, is tasked to keep track and monitor progress on cases of trade union rights violations. Its regional structure, known as the Regional Tripartite Monitoring Body, is tasked to implement preventive advocacies on observance of trade union rights at the regional level.


The NTIPC-MB has already been institutionalized with the enactment of  R.A. No. 9306, or the Tripartism Law, in 14 March 2013. The NTIPC-MB has already monitored two convictions and two acquittals of pending extra-judicial killing cases before the Courts.

"Shortly after, President Aquino III issued Administrative Order No. 35 creating the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) under the Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure the expeditious investigation, prosecution, and resolution of pending cases concerning alleged harassment and assassination of labor leaders and trade union activists," she added.

She further explained that the IAC is looking into the 62 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings of trade unionists endorsed by the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council-Monitoring Body (NTIPC-MB).

"The IAC noted that 50 of the 62 cases transpired from 2001 to June 2010, while 12 cases transpired under the Aquino III administration, which include four newly-reported cases in 2013 involving transport group leaders. Of the 62 cases, only 10 cases were identified as A.O. No. 35 cases and only one case is verified as 'extra-judicial killing'. The 10 cases are now assigned to different IAC structures for case build-up and monitoring," she said.

Baldoz also acknowledged the ILO's technical assistance which was instrumental in influencing the Aquino III administration to create an unprecedented 372 new plantilla positions for labor laws compliance officers, formerly known as labor inspectors.

"The number, approved by President Aquino, is more than the previous number of positions of 228. The new LLCOs, armed with gadgets, are tasked to look into the compliance of establishments on minimum labor standards, occupational health and safety, and other terms and conditions of employment, including the exercise of rights under Convention 87, through an online, web-based application system for the transmission and processing of real-time data collected from the field using an electronic checklist developed through the ILO Technical Cooperation Program," Baldoz explained further.

"The Philippines under the Aquino III administration has pursued reforms to uphold human rights, end impunity, and afford internationally recognized workers’ rights to all its workers. The sincerity of the current Administration can readily be seen in its effort to institutionalize reforms in the areas of prevention and protection and in the progress it has made within four (4) years to address these decades-old issues on trade union rights," Baldoz concluded.



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