Peace and development

Message at the ILO-Japan Signing Ceremony for the Project on the Improvement of Water Supply Equipment Management Capacity for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the ILO-Japan Signing Ceremony for the Project on the Improvement of Water Supply Equipment Management Capacity for the Establishment of Peace in Mindanao, Ortigas, Philippines, 6 March 2019

Statement | Ortigas, Philippines | 06 March 2019
  • Honourable Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
  • His Excellency Ambassador Koji Haneda of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
  • Mr Jose Luis Fernandez, FAO Philippine Representative
  • Distinguished officials of OPAPP and government partners,
  • Distinguished officials of the Embassy of Japan,
  • UN colleagues,
  • Media representatives,
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
The ILO is grateful to the Government of Japan for funding this new project which focuses on Community-Based Water Supply Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao. We also would like to thank OPAPP for its support, including Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso who was very helpful in the development of the proposal.

This year, the ILO marks its Centenary or 100th anniversary which highlights the need to advance social justice and to promote decent work.

This project will therefore be one of the centrepieces for the ILO’s Centenary.

The interventions in the Bangsamoro areas are meant to create jobs while advocating the Decent Work Agenda. This initiative is also consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 6 on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and Goal 8 on promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

ILO’s work in post-disaster and post-conflict situations in the Philippines and in other developing countries provided basis for the adoption of the ILO Recommendation 205 on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience in 2017.

The Recommendation provides guidance to member States on measures to be taken to generate employment and decent work for the purposes of prevention, recovery, peace and resilience with respect to crisis situations arising from conflicts and disasters.

Water is life and the project focuses on providing one of the most basic needs – safe and reliable water supply. Under the project, beneficiaries in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region will be involved and organized to develop, operate and maintain water supply systems for ownership and sustainability.

Access to safe and reliable water supply is critical to develop a healthy, educated and productive workforce. It is also crucial to peace and security.

ILO interventions in the Bangsamoro communities are thus, designed to reduce poverty with the jobs created, with new and practical skills acquired, and with better living conditions through improved water supply, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and improved agricultural productivity through water infrastructure.

These will be achieved while advocating for workers’ rights, social dialogue, social protection and employment creation among beneficiaries.
Over the years, the ILO developed and applied practical tools in marginalized communities to generate jobs, improve living conditions, transfer skills and enable access to livelihood opportunities.

The local resource-based tools include local level planning for community participation in identifying and prioritizing development projects; labour-based methods in construction to provide job opportunities while transferring practical skills to workers; community contracting where residents are mobilized, organized, trained and tapped to address repair and/or reconstruction of damaged community facilities; and operation and maintenance of community infrastructure as a source of sustained income and sustainability.

Meanwhile, due consideration will be given to environmental protection and conservation needs in the area.

Using a peace lens, the project will reach out to returning combatants, vulnerable youth, indigenous peoples, and men and women displaced and vulnerable to conflict.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The world of work is faced with new challenges which includes technological changes, climate change, and demographic shifts. The future of our societies depends on how we deal with challenges but also bring remarkable opportunities.

This is a pivotal moment. The existing social contract – and related institutions – need to be reinvigorated. We need to seize the opportunity for change to deliver economic security, equal opportunity and social justice.

The Global Commission on the Future of Work Report proposed a new approach: A HUMAN-CENTRED AGENDA.

The Agenda is based on 10 recommendations, focused around three pillars of action:
  • Investing in People’s Capabilities
  • Investing in the Institution of Work
  • Investing in Decent and Sustainable Work
The human-centred agenda supports decent work, formalization, an end to working poverty, boots labour productivity, supports investment in the “real” economy and encourages innovation/diversification.

The current project will provide an opportunity to develop a strategy based on Human-Centered Agenda.

Japan has historically provided assistance to improve water and sanitation, and has continuously been one of the largest donors.

The ILO is once again grateful to the Government of Japan for this privilege of being part of the beginning of the new Bangsomoro Autonomous Region as it pursues lasting peace for its people.
In its implementation, the project will continue to collaborate with OPAPP and make representations with the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government, and coordinate with the parties formed under the agreement on the peace process.

We look forward to working together to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth with decent work for lasting peace in Mindanao.

Thank you!