ILO urges PHL govt to finalize roadmap of action to address cases of violations of labor and trade union rights


The International Labor Organization (ILO) Committee on Application of Standards (CAS) urged the Philippine government to come out with a roadmap with its stakeholders to address reported incidents of labor abuses. 

Last Thursday, the CAS came out with its draft conclusion on its session, where it tackled the reported Freedom of Association (FOA) violations of the Philippines, at the recently concluded 111th International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

“The Committee requests the [Philippine] Government to finalize, with ILO technical assistance and its conclusion with the social partners, the road map on effectively addressing all outstanding issues and transmit a report on progress made to the Committee of Experts by 1 September 2023,” the CAS draft conclusion said. 

The Committee expressed “deep concern” on the numerous allegations of trade unionists killings and anti-union violence.  

Such violations and intimidation against trade unionists, it said, should be immediately ended and investigated by authorities. 

It recognized the steps taken by the government to comply with the recommendations of the ILO High-Level Tripartite Mission, which visited the country last January. 

However, it noted the concerns by “social partners” on the supposed failure of the government through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to submit a joint implementation report with employers and labor groups.  

The All Philippine Trade Unions (APTU) said the unequivocal rejection by the CAS of the DOLE compliance report can hamper the government efforts to secure more investments from the United States and Europe. 

“With the failure of DOLE to obtain a positive finding on Philippine compliance with ILO C87, the matter of the Philippines meriting accession to the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) and Free Trade Agreements with the US and the EU is now fully in doubt,” APTU said. 

The government earlier said the GSP and the FTA will help the government to generate more employment opportunities.  

“The DOLE must now answer to the Economic Management Team and President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. Genuine efforts from labor and employers to reach out  and to collaborate with the DOLE were met with inertia, indifference, and a fixation on holding on to outdated and obsolete policies,” APTU said. 

BusinessMirror tried to get the comment of DOLE on the matter but it has yet to reply as of press time.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes