Labor and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday had a ringing challenge to the labor sector: “Confront the present to secure decent jobs for the future.”

 

Baldoz delivered this challenge in her address to over 300 leaders representing young workers, women workers, migrant workers, public sector workers, workers in the informal economy, and formal workers who attended the National Labor Day Forum on Securing Decent Jobs for the Future, held at the Occupational Safety and Health Center in Quezon City. Also attending the Forum were Khalid Hassan, the new ILO Manila Country Office Director; ILO Enterprise Development Specialist Hideki Kagohashi; DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya; Civil Service Commission Chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala; and DOLE senior officials and directors.

 

The one-day forum, part of the114th celebration of Labor Day on the theme, “Kinabukasan Sigurado sa Disenteng Trabaho”, was an occasion for the signing of the “National Labor Sector Agenda: Securing Decent Jobs for The Future”, a document that contains policy recommendations, programs, and strategies on labor and employment and the future of work.

 

Pointing that the gathering was “that one single loud voice of the entire labor force of 38-M workers and the 4-M overseas Filipino workers, considered as the “best asset of our country”, Baldoz praised the forum participants, stating:

 

“I could not help but feel the moving spirit of unity and solidarity that transcends your organizations and even your ideological persuasions as you reach consensus on the outcomes that you intend to achieve now and in the near future.”

 

“I would like to think that it must be the call to face squarely, with strong faith and determination to overcome together as one united sector, with one strong voice, the daunting and formidable challenges of the times, especially the future of work, the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and decent work for all,” she said.

 

The labor and employment chief, who is instrumental in many concrete DOLE reforms under the Aquino III administration, said in her message that the most effective way to ensure the value of the future is to confront—courageously and constructively—the present.

 

Baldoz, who described the gathering as a “first” in the history of trade unionism and worker-organizing in the country, said she was honored to be part of the “historic event and to witness” the signing of the Agenda.

 

“You have come forward boldly to tell the world and the next administration of your dreams, your aspirations, and your goals that you enthusiastically discussed and debated in the three island-wide dialogues and consultations, and which you put together in a carefully-crafted document,” she said.

 

Quoting the ILO, she said the Philippines’ labor sector is the first in Asia to call for the dialogues on the Future of Work, part of the ILO’s centenary initiatives that will culminate in 2019.

 

“I hope that the National Labor Sector Agenda that you signed today will, indeed, be that document that expresses your courage and constructive determination to face the future.  But more importantly, I wish it will be the document that will bind and define all the sectors represented here as one big Philippine Labor Organization, recognized at the national, regional, and international fora, even as I am reminded that all workers all over the world are now represented under one single global labor organization, the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC),” she said.

 

Baldoz assured the participants that the Agenda will find its rightful place in the soon-to-be crafted Labor and Employment Plan 2016-2022.

 

“Together with the Employers’ Agenda, the DOLE and all relevant government agencies will work together with the social partners to harness the potent power of tripartism and social dialogue towards a clearly-defined decent work priority agenda that will sustain the gains of the past and build upon those gains, pursue to their successful conclusions those in the pipelines, and even break new grounds in terms of  programs, activities, and projects that will yet to be launched, consistent with the jointly-agreed priority agenda,” she explained.

 

Pointing that the gathering was “that one single loud voice of the entire labor force of 38-M workers and the 4-M overseas Filipino workers, considered as the “best asset of our country”, Baldoz praised the forum participants, stating:

 

“I could not help but feel the moving spirit of unity and solidarity that transcends your organizations and even your ideological persuasions as you reach consensus on the outcomes that you intend to achieve now and in the near future.”

 

She thanked the full support and cooperation of the Tripartite Executive Committee, Technical Working Group on Labor Day and the administrative staff, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), and the International Labor Organization (ILO) for the success of the National Labor Forum.

“Indeed, it has been a privilege for us to be part of the journey of our workers to chart the steps that could bring about an even brighter future of the world of work,” she said.

 

Finally, Baldoz enjoined the labor sector not to miss the gains of the past and building upon them, drawing attention to the DOLE infographics that “highlight the concrete fruits of all our labor together in the past five years”.

 

The infographics, aptly titled, “ULAT SA MGA BOSS NA MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO, Mga Pagbabagong Hatid ng Daang Matuwid” is a summation of the outcomes of all the reforms that the DOLE and its tripartite partners have done together under the Aquino III administration, which she said helped to contribute significantly to the progress made towards inclusive growth through employment generation and poverty alleviation.

 

END

 

 

 

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