Message at the handover ceremony of the water system in Barangay Reina Regente, Datu Piang, Maguindanao under the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the handover ceremony of the water system in Barangay Reina Regente, Datu Piang, Maguindanao under the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project, 15 March 2022, Maguindanao, Philippines

Statement | Maguindanao, Philippines | 15 March 2022
  • Minister Muslimin Sema and MOLE officials;
  • His Excellency Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines;
  • Mayor Victor Samama of Datu Piang;
  • Mr Adan Ampang, President of Reina Regente Producer Cooperative;
  • Workers and partners from the community;
  • Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Asalamu Alaykum! Mapiya mapita!
Warmest greetings as we hand-over today the water system built in partnership with former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants and the local community.

We see a downward trend on COVID-19 cases but the pandemic left behind scars and challenges for many. The pandemic has worsened fragilities in areas affected by conflicts and climate change.

We are aware that the risk of instability is high when grievances, mistrust, discrimination, and perception of injustice over basic services, decent jobs and livelihoods increase.

Loss of income, poor farm produce and access to basic services has become more challenging during this time.

The Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205) recognizes the importance of generating employment and decent work in the promotion of peace, prevention of crisis situations arising from conflicts and disasters, recovery, and in building resilience.

Decent work contributes to achieving cohesion, transitional justice, and ultimately, lasting peace and sustainable development.

The ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project together with its partners promoted fundamental principles and rights at work, decent and safe working conditions, and livelihoods of vulnerable men and women as an integral part of inclusive and sustainable development.

Through self-determination, the MILF community in Barangay Reina Regente, Datu Piang, defined their own priorities for development and constructed the water system.

They, along with local workers, were part of the entire process – from planning, designing, implementing, and evaluating the project.

Through the project, 82 locals, 34 per cent of which are women and 32 per cent are former combatants were engaged in productive employment with social protection coverage. Their safety and health at work were also ensure during the project implementation.

The newly constructed water system will support 95 households in the area by giving them access to safe and clean water and improving well-being of households.

We thank A Single Drop for Safe Water, our Implementing Partner, and Reina Regente Producer Cooperative, the community contractor, for their patience, commitment and determination. They have also worked hard to address issues on the ground.

The ILO commends the Project Advisory and Review Committee (PARC), led by the Ministry of Labor and Employment for providing valuable inputs and direction.

Lastly, we extend our deepest gratitude to the People of Japan for investing in decent work as a means to achieve transitional justice, lasting peace and sustainable development in the Bangsamoro region.

Shukran (Thank you)!