Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday expressed sadness over the demise of prominent labor leader Victorino F. Balais, National President of the Philippine Transport and General Workers Organization (PTGWO), one of the country’s established labor organizations in the country, and condoled with the family of the late “Boss Vic”.

In a statement paying tribute to Mr. Balais, Baldoz said his death deprives the PTGWO and its unions “a voice of reason and moderation that will be hard to fill”.

“I have known Mr. Balais for a long time and have worked with him–with me in government and he in the labor movement. He was an amiable man, a voice of reason and moderation, truly a labor leader,” said Baldoz, adding:

“He had left an indelible mark of leadership and hard work for the welfare of our workers in over 50 years of labor union involvement.”

At the time of his passing, Balais, who hailed from Laoag, Ilocos Norte, was labor representative to the Board of Trustees of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); member of the National Tripartite Industry Peace Council; and also a member of the DOLE’s National Integrity and Efficiency Board.

He was Social Security System commissioner from 2002 to 2010, representing the labor sector in the SSS Commission.

He rose from the ranks of the labor movement, from being a labor organizer in Central Textile local union to become national organizer and treasurer of the PTGWO under its former president Andres Dinglasan. Under him, the PTGWO has grown to have over 70,000 worker-members in the formal and informal sector.

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