- Minister Muslimin Sema and MOLE officials;
- His Excellency Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines;
- Mrs Maria Teresa Alcaraz, President of Fengalap Farm Producers Cooperative;
- Workers and partners from the community;
- Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga (good morning)!
The journey in building this water system has been challenging. It shows how hard everyone worked to get it done – from the community, workers, implementing partners to the ILO team, BARMM and others. All these led to the success of this last site. Glad that we are closing this Project on a high note.
The ILO expresses its gratitude to the Government of Japan for its support to create decent work, provide safe water, and promote lasting peace in BARMM, especially during this critical time of the Bangsamoro transition.
The project has become more relevant due to the pandemic. Without safe water, people are at risk of COVID-19. The pandemic also affected lives and livelihoods that can lead to poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
As we emerge from the crisis, it is important to rebuild better with people at the centre. Promoting decent work and strengthening cooperation at the local, national, and international level are crucial based on the ILO’s Global Call to Action.
The project used local resource-based approaches, developed skills, and hired people from the community to work.
Vulnerable groups such as women, indigenous peoples and persons with disability were included for equal employment opportunity.
Workers received wages and social protection benefits, while their safety and health were guaranteed.
Consultation and participation were widely encouraged and practiced ensuring that voices were heard, especially those of the community.
The ILO also promoted fundamental principles and rights at work as an integral aspect of inclusive and sustainable development.
As a result of hard work and dedication, the water system in Tenorio will benefit 70 households that struggled before to access safe water.
As we close the ILO-Water Project, we salute people who helped establish all 11 water systems. The community-contractors for their perseverance in learning construction and project management. Implementing partners such as A Single Drop for Safe Water for guiding community contractors in Tenorio and the other six sites. The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) for supporting three sites in North and South Upi. The tenacity and hardwork of these implementing partners in overseeing and monitoring are highly commendable.
The ILO is also grateful to the Ministry of Labor and Employment as the chair the Project Advisory and Review Committee (PARC), and all member-Ministries for their valued insights and guidance.
Through the ILO-Japan Water Project, we have not only built water systems, but also helped communities become better and more resilient.
We hope all these initiatives will support the Philippines to achieve the Decent Work Country Programme, build a better future of work, and help the Bangsamoro transition.
Again, my warmest thanks and congratulations!