1,276 Family Welfare Programs established in 2013
As National Women’s Day nears, Baldoz urges more firms to set up FWPs for increased productivity and harmonious labor-management relations

On the eve of the commemoration of National Women’s Day on 8 March, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has urged the country’s establishments to set-up family welfare programs to increase productivity and foster harmonious labor-management relations.

The country celebrates National Women’s Month and National Women’s Day this March, on the theme, “Juana, and Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong”, in tribute to the strong and resilient women who have brought inspiring changes in the country and across the world.

“Today’s modern workplaces makes balancing responsibilities at home and at work more difficult. A Family Welfare Program enables establishments to provide work-life balance for workers, especially for women, and ensure their welfare,” said Baldoz.

“The adoption by companies of the FWP is a viable investment that pays off in terms of increased productivity, work-life balance, and cordial labor-management relations,” she added.

The labor and employment chief explained that in the present and increasingly competitive work environment where the boundaries between work and life are increasingly blurred, companies that embrace FWP as integral part of their human resource development approach create an environment conducive to long-term productivity and retention of their greatest assets–their employees.

The FWP is a DOLE mandate, enshrined in Article 34 of the Labor Code, and articulated in D.O. 56-03 which requires employers to inform employees of the availability of family planning services in an establishment, among other requisites.

It is also in line with R.A. 10354, or “An Act Providing for a National Policy on Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health”. This law provides for the protection of employees against any employer who shall suggest, require, unduly influence, or cause any job applicant or an employee to submit himself to sterilization, use any modern methods of family planning, or not use such methods as a condition for employment, continued employment, promotion, or the provision of employment benefits.

“The FWP is aimed at promoting the welfare of workers and their families, which is key to workplace productivity and improved worker-management relations,” said Baldoz, who reported that in 2013, the DOLE, through its Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns and Regional Offices, have assisted in the establishment of Family Welfare Committees in 1,276 companies that effectively benefited 141,850 workers.

A total of 693 establishments established FWCs in 2012, while 832 firms set up their FWPs in 2011.

Companies employing more than 200 workers are required under the law to form a family welfare committee–with two to three members each from the workers’ ranks and the management–that will implement the FWP, while companies with under 200 employees, but are willing to set up their FWCs may do so. The BWSC and DOLE Regional Offices provide assistance in the establishment of a FWP.

The FWP has 10 dimensions: (1) reproductive health/responsible parenthood; (2) education/gender equality; (3) spirituality and value formation; (4) income generation, livelihood, and cooperative; (5) medical health care and nutrition; (6) environment protection; (7) hygiene and sanitation; (8) sports and leisure; and (10) housing and transportation.

END/Letmaring

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