Geneva—Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO), last week paid a unique and generous tribute to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz while the latter was attending the 105th Session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ryder, who took over as ILO Director General on 1 October 2012, attended the traditional dinner hosted by the Secretary of Labor and Employment for the Philippine delegation to the ILC, during which he spoke glowingly about the contributions of Secretary Baldoz to the ILO.
“I want to say two particular things about Secretary Baldoz. The first is . . . she is one of the most outstanding Secretaries of Labor in the global community,” he said.
“You know the world of work not just in theory, not just by something you learn in textbooks or in what you read. You have done it. You have lived it. And it shows in the work that you do,” Ryder added, addressing Baldoz on a personal level.
Baldoz, who is completing her six-year stint as the Philippines’ top labor official on 30 June, graciously thanked Ryder for his praise.
Ryder described Secretary Baldoz as a “wonderful” national Secretary of Labor and a “wonderful internationalist”.
“Whenever the Secretary comes to Geneva, be it for a technical meeting or for a political question, we know that she brings with her strong technical knowledge. She has the commitment to the work that she does and the values of the ILO,” said Ryder.
Again, personally addressing Baldoz, Ryder said:
“You have the capacity to listen to people from different cultures; from different situations; to understand them and to try to get their perspectives on the work that we do. Too often, we come to a situation in the ILO global stage and we try to impose our own national experience on a global problem. This does not work. But if you have the principles; if you have the understanding; if you have the empathy with people, then you work that out. That is something that Secretary Baldoz has always been able to do.”
Lastly, Ryder thanked the Secretary for being a “wonderful warm person, and for the support that she has offered to the ILO”. “She has been a great friend of the ILO; “a personal friend . . . and I really, deeply, appreciate the friendship and the support that she has offered to me and the ILO during all these years.”
Baldoz expressed gratitude to Ryder for the recognition which, she said, extends to the DOLE family and the Filipino workers. “It’s a great honour serving the country through the Department of Labor and Employment. I share your commendation to my fellow workers in the Department and the Filipino workers, and to our tripartite partners,” said Baldoz, who also received from the ILO Director General a token—a framed memorabilia of texts and graphics which shows the history and values of the ILO.
“This is the symbol of the ILO—Workers, Government and Employers working together. This is the signature of the Declaration of Philadelphia. And these are some of the wonderful text of our founders and of the Declaration of Philadelphia. And I think, their words speak very strongly to you, Secretary,” Ryder said as he handed over the token to Baldoz.
During her stint at the DOLE, Baldoz chaired one of the technical committees that reviewed and consolidated more than 60 international instruments adopted as the ILO Maritime Convention. She also crafted the Household Service Reform Package for the protection of domestic workers’ rights.
She is the first national from an ASEAN country to chair the ILO Tripartite Committee on the Application of Standards. In 2009, she was designated focal person to the ILO High Level Mission that examined the Philippines’ compliance to ILO Convention 87, or the Freedom of Association Convention, and crafted the four-year National Program of Action the Mission had recommended.
She had positioned the Philippines, as Chair of the ILO Committee on Domestic Work, to play a major role in the adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention, 189, and the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006, both of which had been ratified by the Philippines.
This year, while attending the 105th ILC, Secretary Baldoz also hosted representatives of governments, labor unions, and employers’ groups in the High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change and Labor, joining such eminent global leaders such as Tony Walcott, Executive Director of the Barbados Employers Confederation, representing the International Organisation of Employers; Philip Jennings, General Secretary of UNI Global Union; H.E. Abdulfatah Abdullahi, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Ethiopia; H.E. Carlos Alberto Madero, Minister of Labor and Social Security of Honduras; Mr. Todd Kjellstrom, principal author of the study on Labor and Climate Change; H.E. Carlos Alvarado, Minister of Labor of Costa Rica; Ms. Anabella Rosemberg, climate change and occupational health advisor of the International Trade Union Confederation; and Deepak Bohara, Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment of Nepal.