ILO lauds Filipino workforce

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MANILA, Dec. 17, 2012? Filipino overseas workers are worth everyone’s admiration and appreciation not only for the remittances they send back home but for their outstanding contributions in building countries around the world.

This was how International Labor Organization Director General Guy Ryder looks at some ten million Filipinos spread across the globe, from seafarers to land-based workers.

In an exclusive interview at the sidelines of his separate meetings with government representatives, employers and trade union leaders at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel late Sunday afternoon, Ryder said he looks at the Philippines as one of the most important countries to his Organization because of its history of tripartism, sound labor market policies and the strong presence of ten million Filipinos in various economies.

“Filipinos around the world, and I’ve said it to Filipino government representatives, employers and workers I met today, I think that the Philippines can be proud of the contributions its citizens make in building countries around the world,” Ryder further said.

Quoting President Benigno Aquino III who said migration should not be an obligation but an option, Ryder expressed confidence to working closely with the Philippine government to provide and develop decent work within the country.

He said while business process outsourcing (BPOs) provides employment, conditions that prevail in the work place should promote social, health and safety issues.

“Outsourcing is part of the modern economy,” he said as he called on everyone to make the conditions acceptable.

Ryder said he will convey to President Aquino the ILO’s sincere appreciation for the Philippines’ taking the lead in some labor standards.

“This is important because the Philippines has a strong tradition of tripartism and I will assure him of solidarity not just in words but in action? with the tragedy in Mindanao? with our goal to create more jobs,” he added.

The International Labor Organization said it will provide immediate assistance to typhoon victims in Davao Oriental and its environs as they have done last year with Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City residents, Ryder said.

“Our contribution is to get people into jobs through immediate cash-for-work, building infrastructure because we want to be on the ground on the side of the victims,” he said.

Asked of his views on the killing and repression of trade union activities, Ryder said the ILO send a high level mission in 2009 in response to allegations of a number of violations committed by some people in government.  He said the team came up with recommendations which raised awareness and provided training for judicial authorities and members of the armed forces.

Ryder reiterated his earlier statement that the country’s big asset is its people. “With all its assets, the [country] can look forward to a better 2013,” he said.

He reminded Filipinos that “the future has to be built as it does not happen automatically.”  (Melo M. Acuna)


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