Sarrosa International Hotel, Cebu City-the International Labor Organization in the pacific region in coordination with the Bureau of Labor Relations of the Department of Labor and Employment held the Visayas-wide summit on the protection of the workers’ right to self-organization on October 12, 2011 in Cebu City.
Organizers leader, Dir. Rebecca Chato of the BLR said in her opening discussion that, “The thrust of this convention is to enhance our understanding the universally and constitutionally accepted right of our workers’ to self-organization to promote the common objective of the majority.”
Participants from various sector and government agencies were very passionate in the open forum and without fear and hesitation delivered their respective messages before the crowd. Among in the group were the DOLE of course, NCMB, BLR, NLRC, the PNP officers, AFP military officials, the unions (APL, FFW, ALU-TUCP, among others), representative from the DOJ, Commission on Human Rights and the ILO pacific regional office.
The convention has been become enormous due to the presence of the chief of the Department of Labor and Employment, Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz together with Usec. Hans Leo J. Cacdac, who came to the summit despite threats from the storm Ramon to hit the Visayas areas.
“I am so glad that this kind of convention is being conducted to give avenue for a discussion among stakeholders especially with the participation of our law enforcers and the military because their presence during strikes and lockouts is very indispensible,” the secretary explained.
“Ang ganitong pagtitipon ay isang paraan upang taimtim nating mapag-uusapan ang mga hakbangin para maunawaan ang karapatan ng bawat isa para magtayo ng organisasyon at mapaunlad ang bawat batas at regulasyon sa unyonismo”, the Sec. Baldoz added.
The summit has been initiated by the government to comply and heed the mandate of the ILO due to the numerous cases pending before the international body relative to harassment, suppression and violence in connection with unionism.
“Ito po ang ating tugon sa hinaing ng ILO ukol sa usaping paglabag ng iilan nating ahensiya at sector ng lipunan sa karapatan ng ating mga manggagawa sa pag-organisa. We have to align our policy with our commitment with ILO conventions particularly Convention No. 87 and Convention No. 98,” the Sec. continually said.
Accordingly, the Philippine government under Pres. Noynoy Aquino III’s administration already initiated reforms reflected under his 22-point labor and employment agenda to uphold internationally accepted principles and norms relative to self-organization.
In particular, the Secretary enumerated the (4) point agenda the ILO requires: 1) resolve extrajudicial killings in relation to unionism. 2) expeditious investigation and resolution of cases pending before the DOJ and the courts. 3) legislative reform of the Labor Code thru the support of the NTIPC, the labor sector and the employers. 4) strengthening tri-partism in different industries.
In sum, Sec. Baldoz commended all the organizers and participants for having the summit a successful despite the weather disturbance. “This is just the beginning of our intention to introduce a long lasting industrial peace in our country, more consultation in the future will follow with your cooperation,” Sec. Baldoz said before she leave the convention to attend some other activities lined up for her by the DOLE-7 office. (by Atty. R.L. Buenafe)