As an offshoot of the partnership agreement between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) to promote best practices and voluntary compliance with general labor standards and occupational safety and health standards, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has formed the DOLE-FOBAP Technical Working Committee (TWC) to raise the bar of labor laws compliance of the Philippine’s export sector.
“The TWC will adopt measures and conduct activities to assure the implementation of DOLE-FOBAP agreement,” said Baldoz after issuing Administrative Order 216 S. 2015 through Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III.
The FOBAP and the DOLE signed last April an agreement to ensure that products exported by the Philippines are produced not only according to global quality standards but also in responsible and socially-compliant factories that meet the basic standards for human rights as required by major exporting countries.
The agreement spells out the mechanics of cooperation between the DOLE and the FOBAP in attaining their shared goals of increased awareness of the export sector on general labor standards and OSHS.
The FOBAP is the private sector association that serves as watchdog of local producers in terms of labor and social compliance.
Apart from implementing programs and projects that will increase awareness of the export sector on general labor standards, minimum wage and other wage-related benefits, and occupational safety and health standards, the newly created TWC will also work to build within the sector a culture of voluntary compliance with all labor laws to promote the safety and wellbeing of export sector workers.
Composing the TWC from DOLE are Bureau of Working Conditions Director Catherine Legados-Parado, Bureau of Labor Relations Director Benjo Santos M. Benavidez, Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns Director Ahmma Charisma L. Satumba, Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique R. Tutay, International Labor Relations Bureau Director Saul T. De Vries, Occupational Safety and Health Center Executive Director Ma. Teresita S. Cucueco, National Wages and Productivity Commission Executive Director Maria Criselda R. Sy, Employees Compensation Commission Executive Director Stella Z. Banawis, and National Conciliation and Mediation Board Executive Director Reynaldo R. Ubaldo.
The FOBAP will be represented in the TWC by Director Gina Roxas, Compliance Manager Vicente Agaron, and HR Manager Francis Jesus Ramos.
“We have carried out one of the provisions in our agreement with the creation of the TWC,” said Baldoz, who added that the ultimate aim is to ensure that global quality products are manufactured in socially-compliant Philippine factories.
One of the work of the TWC is to apprise the DOLE Secretary and the FOBAP President about the progress of the joint undertaking with quarterly monitoring and reporting system.
In her statement during the signing of the agreement, Baldoz expressed optimism that the DOLE and FOBAP will bring forth responsible and socially-compliant manufacturing companies that produce internationally competitive products and nurture a labor-laws protected workforce.
“It is imperative that human rights is observed by the export sector, since major importing countries require upholding of workers’ welfare and fundamental human and labor rights. By fostering a culture of voluntary compliance, this partnership with FOBAP, which is a broad alliance of trade and business associations, will be a big help in accelerating the progress of LLCS implementation,” she said.