Opening address at the Executive course for regional managers on strategic compliance planning

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Executive course for regional managers on strategic compliance planning, 6 February 2023, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 06 February 2023
Greetings to esteemed officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE):
  • Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma;
  • Undersecretary Ernesto Bitonio, Jr.;
  • Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez;
  • Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad;
  • Director Alvin Curada;
  • All Regional Directors and Regional Managers of the DOLE’s labour inspection programme;
  • ILO colleagues;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga (good morning)!
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is pleased to collaborate with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on this Strategic Compliance Executive Course. This is made possible by the US Department of Labor (USDOL)-funded ILO Project on Improving Workers’ Rights in the Rural Sectors of the Indo Pacific, with a Focus on Women.

This activity supports DOLE regional offices in developing Strategic Compliance Plans that address root causes of non-compliance and build compliance drivers. Discussions can also enhance labour inspection rules and OSH law implementing regulations.

While DOLE has made progress in labour inspectorate reforms, there are still sectors and categories of workers facing serious decent work deficits, such as rural workers linked to big businesses’ supply chains, women workers, young and elderly workers, informal sector workers and those in ambiguous employment relationships.

Ensuring workers’ rights protection throughout the supply chain is good for workers, their communities and businesses as well. International concerns on how trade affects human and labour rights are driving demand for private sector investment based on Environmental Social Governance (ESG) metrics, linking market access in trade agreements to ILO Conventions, and influencing corporate behaviour.

Labour inspection is essential for ensuring labour standards compliance. ILO Governance Conventions supporting Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work are the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) and the Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129).

The ILO’s Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery with synergies to the Centenary Declaration promotes a better future of work through greater investment in institutions of work, including labour inspection.

The ILO is encouraged by the Philippine government’s effort to ratify Convention No. 81, and we stand ready to assist in this endeavour.

Improving compliance with labour standards requires going beyond enforcement.

Convention No. 81 outlines the main functions of a labour inspectorate, which include not only securing effective labour laws enforcement, but also informing and advising workers and employers on compliance and notifying authorities of defects not yet covered by the law. Additional duties of labour inspectors must not undermine their impartiality and primary responsibilities.

The ILO expects this executive course would help DOLE identify practical strategies to better protect vulnerable workers, especially in regionally dominant industries.

This includes addressing compliance challenges, engaging with social partners to implement strategies and strengthening inter-agency collaboration.

Hopefully, this activity’s dialogue and plans will lead to concrete actions that protect workers’ rights and leave no one behind.

With this, I wish you a productive course and look forward to working with DOLE to implement key components of these plans.

Thank you!