Date Posted: September 10th, 2015 06:39 AM
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, by virtue of Administrative Order No. 380 S. 2015, has created the DOLE Coordinating Committee for ASEAN Matters (DCCAM) that will harmonize the Department’s participation in activities and commitments in preparation for the 2015 ASEAN Integration.
“I have ordered the creation of DCCAM to ensure that the Department efficiently and effectively responds to the labor and employment opportunities and challenges arising from the regional integration in the ASEAN,” Baldoz said.
The DOLE Coordinating Committee for ASEAN Matters is chaired by OIC Undersecretary Nicon Fameronag and co-chaired by Assistant Secretary Katherine B. Brimon.
The committee members, composed of heads of various DOLE offices, bureaus, and attached agencies, are Executive Director Teresita Cucueco of the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC); Executive Director Stella Z. Banawis of the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC); OIC-Executive Director Mary Grace Riguer of the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS); Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA); Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); Deputy Director-General Irene Isaac of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Commissioner Angeline Chua-Chiaco of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC); Executive Director Criselda Sy of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC); Director Benjo Santos Benavidez of the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR); Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC); Director Catherine Legados-Parado of the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC); Director Chona Mantilla of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO); Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE); Director Saul de Vries of the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB); and Director Romeo Montefalco of the Legal Service (LS).
The DCCAM shall primarily act as a clearinghouse for DOLE inputs, positions, and interventions to Philippine participation in ASEAN bodies.
The committee shall propose policies, programs, and projects seeking to implement commitments under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) including commitments under the ASEAN Labor Ministers Work Programme where the Philippines has been designated as coordinator.
Further, the committee shall implement these policies, programs, and projects consistent with specific agency mandates; monitor the progress; and submit semi-annual reports to the Secretary.
The DCCAM shall also recommend to the Secretary the DOLE representatives to ASEAN meetings, conferences, and similar activities, and develop reporting protocols to be observed by said participants.
Capacity building of concerned offices shall also be facilitated by the committee.
To ensure proper coordination, the DOLE chief said the committee was organized into working groups in accordance with the ASEAN Communities, which are the AEC, the APSC, and the ASCC.
“The roles and responsibilities of the committee members are clear-cut to better prepare our country, specifically the labor front, in the onset of free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital, which are the key features of the ASEAN integration,” said Baldoz.
Under the AEC Working Group are PRC, TESDA, POEA, and NWPC, with BLE serving as the focal agency and as secretariat support.
Under the APSC Working Group, on the other hand, are POEA, LS, and OWWA, headed by ILAB. The APSC aims to ensure that countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment.
Lastly, under the ASCC Working Group are BWSC, NCMB, BWC, OSHC, POEA, ECC, NRCO, and TESDA, led by BLR as the focal agency. The ASCC seeks to forge a common identity and build a caring and sharing society which is inclusive and where the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples are enhanced.
The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) will be providing research support to the three working groups.
The over-all secretarial support to the DCCAM shall be provided by ILAB – Asia and Pacific Labor Affairs Division (APLAD).
Expressing optimism, Baldoz said: “What lies ahead of us as possibilities due to regional integration can be daunting while at the same time exciting. We need to address the challenges through a holistic approach that not only seeks to guarantee the establishment, growth and sustainability of a highly competitive economy in the region, but more importantly ensures that in the process, the opportunities for decent and productive employment are availed of by our workers and the risks that these workers will be vulnerable to are effectively managed.”