Message of support at the High-Level Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) consultation meeting

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the High-Level Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) consultation meeting, 4 May 2023, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 04 May 2023
  • Honourable Undersecretaries Bitonio, Torres, and officials from the Department of Labor and Employment;
  • Brothers and sisters from workers organizations and trade unions;
  • Employers and business leaders;
  • Distinguished representatives from national government agencies, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank;
  • Colleagues from the UN Country Team;
  • Sector representatives, including from the civil society and academe;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga (good morning)!
The International Labour Organization (ILO) welcomes and values this high-level consultation and dialogue on the Labor and Employment Plan (LEP).

Although it has been over three years since the COVID-19 outbreak, many countries, like the Philippines, are still recovering from its impact.

Multiple crises caused by the pandemic, the political unrest and conflict, rising inflation, food and fuel prices have resulted in uneven recovery as well as fiscal and financial difficulties, especially for developing countries.

These crises exposed and deepened inequalities, pushed people into poverty and affected many workers and enterprises.

These challenges highlight the need for greater coordination and collaboration. It is an honour for the ILO to join you today along with government, workers’ and employers’ organizations, and other key stakeholders. Through the LEP, we can help rebuild and shape a stable, equitable and sustainable future of work.

Since day one and throughout the area-based consultations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the ILO has been asked to provide technical support and advice. This included preliminary results of the Decent Work Country Diagnostics, which offers a well-informed and comprehensive narrative of the labour and employment situation in the Philippines.

The ILO is pleased that the LEP’s priorities reflect the four pillars of decent work:
  1. full and productive employment;
  2. rights at work;
  3. social protection; and
  4. promotion of social dialogue.
Regional partners have made significant contributions to achieve decent work priorities. We are making progress towards the LEP launch in June.

This year also marks the Philippines’ 75th anniversary of ILO membership. Allow me to commend the government, employers and workers – the real ILO – for their continuous engagement and partnership.

The ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific during her first field visit to the Philippines last month, explored and strengthened collaboration on the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions and the Global Coalition for Social Justice with key partners.

All these along with the LEP, are areas of cooperation and collaboration among tripartite plus partners – government, workers and employers, including the United Nations Country Team, and International Financial Institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Let us seize all opportunities that will boost the initiatives of stakeholders in the Philippines to promote decent work and advance social justice.

The ILO stands ready to support the LEP implementation as the country’s Decent Work Country Programme. The ILO looks forward to see how the LEP will operationalize decent work as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 and the United Nations Country Framework (UNCF).

The ILO also reaffirms the LEP’s potential as the country’s framework for possible implementation of the Global Accelerator, and the Global Coalition for Social Justice.

I wish you all a fruitful and successful consultation, as well as continuous collaboration towards the finalization and implementation of a meaningful Labor and Employment Plan.

Thank you very much!