Message at the consultation on the Safe and decent work in economic zones research: A capacity-building and training for government, security sector, workers and enterprises

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the consultation on the Safe and decent work in economic zones research: A capacity-building and training for government, security sector, workers and enterprises, 16 August 2021, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines via Zoom | 16 August 2021
  • Partners and distinguished government officials from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA); from the national security and law enforcement agencies, the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); from the security sector, particularly the human rights offices of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP);
  • Implementing partners from the Foundation for Integrative and Development Studies (FIDS), Inc., and the University of the Philippines Institute of Human Rights (UP IHR).
  • ILO colleagues including from our Regional Office in Bangkok;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good day!
Welcome to this consultation on Safe and Decent Work in Ecozones. The ILO-EU Trade for Decent Work Project organized this training to help enhance the capacity of the government, security officers, workers and enterprises.

This training is in collaboration with the Foundation for Integrative and Development Studies (FIDS), Inc., and the University of the Philippines Institute of Human Rights (UP IHR).

Let me also acknowledge the European Union Directorate-General for Trade (EU DG Trade) for supporting and making this project possible.

One of the project objectives is to provide technical assistance through capacity-building on labour rights and freedom of association (FOA) principles.

The project will also support review of FOA-related policies, guidelines and issuances, including in economic zones and the security sector.

Through this, the project aims to improve the current state and the climate of freedom of association and labour rights in the Philippines.

This will enable the country to continue enjoying special trade privileges under the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences or the GSP+.

We are bringing here expertise on labour, business and human rights. Through this dialogue, we hope to better align policies and programmes with the commitment of the Philippines to strengthen freedom of association, and the right to organize and bargain collectively.

All these are based on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98). These principles are reflected as well in the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP).

The DWCP is a product of collaborative efforts, and common priorities set by the government, workers and employers organizations.

This initiative will also contribute to the recently adopted Global Call to Action towards an economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic based on a human-centred approach.

The project further hopes strengthen current FOA-related and rights-based policies and issuances.

These include the 2011 DOLE-PEZA-PNP Joint Guidelines in Ecozones, the 2012 Joint Guidelines on the Conduct of the Security Sector Relative to the Exercise of Workers’ Rights, and the agreement establishing the Joint Industrial Peace and Concern Office, among others.

We look forward to your cooperation and contribution to help strengthen freedom of association, and the effective recognition of the right to organize and bargain collectively.

Finally, let me wish you all a successful and meaningful dialogue!

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!