Philippines deepens labor ties with international community in Geneva confab

2024 June 14

EXPANDING LABOR TIES. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) senior officials led by Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma (right in right photo) meet with their Malaysian counterparts headed by Minister of Human Resources Steven Sim Chee Keong (left in right photo) on the sidelines of the 112th International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The DOLE on Thursday (June 13, 2024) said the two countries agreed to explore collaborative strategies and support workers with disabilities and ensure their smooth reintegration into the workforce. (Photo grabbed from DOLE Facebook page)

MANILA – The Philippines continues to boost its labor ties with the international community as officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) participated in high-level engagements on the sidelines of the 112th International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma met with Malaysian Minister of Human Resources Steven Sim Chee Keong on June 11 where they discussed Malaysia’s Health and Rehabilitation Center and compared it with the workers’ rehabilitation center that would soon rise in Tanay, Rizal, the department said in a news release on Thursday.

“Both leaders explored collaborative strategies to support workers with disabilities and ensure their smooth reintegration into the workforce underscoring the strong bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Malaysia and the shared dedication to enhancing workers’ welfare and rehabilitation services.”

Meanwhile, Laguesma reaffirmed Manila’s commitment to enforcing and ensuring compliance with the provisions of the international labor standards during his meeting with International Labor Organization (ILO) Assistant Director General for the Governance, Rights, and Dialogue Cluster Manuela Tomei.

Laguesma said the local labor and employment sector would benefit from the country’s compliance with these standards.

The two officials also discussed strategies to effectively implement the provisions of the ILO Convention 190, or the Violence and Harassment Convention of 2019.

The DOLE said Laguesma and Tomei agreed to identify forms of harassment, intensify inspection and compliance, especially among micro and small enterprises, utilize digital tools to expand the regulatory scope and reduce informality, and engage key stakeholders, such as informal workers and small business associations, in the discourse to address violence and harassment in the workplace.

The ILC, held at the Palais des Nations from June 3 until June 14, provides a forum for discussing key social and labor issues, bringing together governments, employers, and workers from ILO member states to foster dialogue and cooperation.

It also serves as the international parliament of labor that sets global labor standards and broad policies for the ILO.

Marita Moaje (PNA)