ILO cites PHL role in labor recovery agenda


THE International Labor Organization (ILO) said the Philippine government will play a key role in addressing the plight of the 125 million workers who lost their jobs amid the pandemic.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), ILO Director General Guy Ryder issued the statement during his meeting with Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III last week.

As the lead of the ILO government cluster, Bello, according to Ryder, will play the “crucial role” of setting the agenda to provide social protection for Covid-affected workers.

The ILO head noted that currently, 53 percent of the employees worldwide do not have such social protection.

“From temporary amelioration, there is a need for a more systemic, permanent social protection,” Ryder said.

Ryder lauded the amelioration programs implemented by the Philippine government, which could serve as a model for other countries.

The initiatives include the Department of Labor and Employment’s cash aid for displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFW) through its Abot Kamay Ang Pagtulong (AKAP) and  Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for displaced formal sector workers.

It also included the Tulong Pang-hanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad), which provided temporary employment to disadvantaged informal sector workers.

Bello said he will include Ryder’s suggestions during his chairmanship of the ILO government group.

In the Philippines, many of the displaced workers came from the most badly hit economic sectors like tourism, service sectors, and small and medium enterprises that could not reopen quickly during the Covid-induced lockdowns.

The backbone of the economy, the migrant workers sector, was also impacted, with some half a million overseas Filipino workers forced to come home as their employers in host countries were also hit by the pandemic.  Some of them were able to return to overseas jobs after a year, but those unable to have their old jobs restored, or to find new ones, underwent retooling, job-matching, and other forms of assistance from DOLE.

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