Message at the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) Strategic Planning

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) Strategic Planning, 19 July 2022, Cotabato City, Philippines

Statement | Cotabato City, Philippines | 19 July 2022
  • Honourable Muslimin Sema and officials of the Ministry of Labor and Employment,
  • Representatives of key BARMM government agencies,
  • Officials from the Department of Labor and Employment,
  • Our facilitators - Atty Rebecca Chato and Engineer Dong Anayatin,
  • ILO Colleagues from Bangkok, Manila and Cotabato,
  • Partners, distinguished guests,
  • Ladies and gentlemen,
Assalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh!

After decades of conflict, the agreements that led to the Bangsamoro and its structure, have increased prospects for peace.

Communities have high hopes that the government will help bring peace and development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The International Labour Organization (ILO), like BARMM, was founded from the ashes of World War I as part of the Treaty of Versailles over a hundred years ago. The ILO’s unique tripartite structure, brings together governments, employers, and workers representatives.

The quest for peace is multi- dimensional. The ILO recognized the importance of social justice in securing peace. According to the ILO Constitution, “universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.”

The ILO’s decent work agenda can address key conflict drivers, allowing communities move from fragility to resilience, from conflict to sustaining peace.

Decent work, with its four pillars, is a goal and a pathway to prosperity, equality, sustainable development, and lasting peace based on social justice.

Decent work goes beyond job creation. It promotes freely chosen employment, rights at work, social protection, and social dialogue, ensuring human-centred and participatory processes.

The BARMM governance system is crucial to create an enabling environment for economic recovery that bolsters the peace process. Likewise, governance in the world of work contributes to peace, social cohesion, and transitional justice.

A well-functioning Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) with a comprehensive Strategic Plan is vital for delivering decent work and social justice. It will influence the pace of transformation toward sustainable development and lasting peace.

The ILO is pleased to be a partner in BARMM, particularly in developing MOLE’s Strategic Action Plan. The ILO also helps the region with issues like decent work, child labour, skills development, labour administration, water supply, climate change, the future of work and more. The ILO supported the BARMM Labour Market and Labour Administration Assessments, which will provide key inputs to our discussions.

Parallel to this process, the ILO also contributes to the Bangsamoro Development Plan. MOLE is a major contributor, and we hope the Strategic Planning process will help.

There are potentials to mainstream decent work in various Bangsamoro Economic and Development Committees, beyond economic development. We hope that MOLE can join other committees. The Strategic Plan is essential to define goals in line with MOLE’s 2023- 2030 vision of a “decent, competitive, productive and sustainable employment in the Bangsamoro.”

This activity further contributes to the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines under the Labour Market Governance priority. It is a product of social dialogue based on priorities and outcomes set by government, workers, and employers.

MOLE can reflect on these priorities and outcomes to BARMM based on its cultural and regional context.

The MOLE Strategic Action Plan also contributes to the ILO’s Global Call to Action for Human-Centred Recovery from COVID-19. A recovery that is inclusive, sustainable, and resilient.

In closing, I would like to thank and congratulate MOLE led by Minister Sema, and the Secretariat for bringing together key officials for this strategic planning. We value this continuing and productive partnership.

We wish you success in creating a roadmap and join you in promoting lasting peace and sustainable development that is human-centered based on decent work and social justice.

The ILO is ready to support MOLE in promoting decent work in the region, invigorating cooperation with development partners, and mobilizing resources.

Sukran! Wassalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi.

May peace be upon us all.