Message of support at the Healthy Workplace Initiative launch

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the ceremonial signing and launch of the Healthy Workplace Initiative, 28 April 2023, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 28 April 2023
  • OIC-Secretary Vergeire of the Department of Health (DOH),
  • Secretary Laguesma of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),
  • Chairperson Nograles of the Civil Service Commission (CSC),
  • Partners from the government, employers and workers organizations, WHO, USAID, FHI 360,
  • Honourable speakers and guests,
  • Ladies and gentlemen, magandang hapon (good afternoon)!
Every day, 8,000 people die from work-related accidents and diseases globally.

One death is too many but what about these thousands of workers with children, families and loved ones waiting for them to come home safe, healthy and alive? A safe and healthy working environment is no longer an option or a moral choice. It is a fundamental right.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) made history when it added occupational safety and health or OSH to its Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

All of ILO’s 186 member States, including the Philippines must respect, promote and achieve this, whether they have ratified or not the relevant OSH Conventions.

In the Philippines, the ILO provides support by building a preventive safety and health culture through the National Policy Framework on the Promotion of Healthy Workplace.

Today’s launch of the Healthy Workplace Pilot Implementation is a crucial step. It aims to make healthy behaviours the easier choice for every worker and employer, every time, everywhere.

The ILO Bringing Back Jobs Safely Project funded by the Government of Japan, will support the development of an evidence-based toolkit for healthy workplace actions with particular focus on environment health and violence and injury prevention.

It will also help improve collection and use of data on work-related disease and injury under the pilot implementation.

In addition, the ILO will work towards extended protection of marginalized workers, including those in the rural sector and informal economy, in collaboration with the Universal Health Coverage agenda by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The ILO will also help strengthen partnership with key stakeholders for ensuring and promoting a safe and healthy working environment as a fundamental right.

Psychosocial factors affect physical and mental health. This includes stress, violence and harassment, smoking and substance abuse. Thus, the ILO will bring in an integrated approach given its impact on workers’ health, absenteeism and ultimately, on the enterprise.

The ILO will continue to support workplace health promotion initiatives. Enabling workers to better manage psychosocial factors with employers' support through social dialogue, reduces pressure on health and social security systems, thereby increasing productivity with ripple effects on their families and communities.

Safety and health at work is essential for promoting human dignity and ensuring no one is left behind on the path to social justice and decent work for all.

Thank you and mabuhay (long live)!