The chronic issues besetting the labor sector will now be addressed effectively with the creation of the Inter-Agency Committee, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma announced Sunday.
Laguesma said they expect a concerted effort by the concerned agencies to remedy the concerns and issues raised by various labor groups regarding the freedom of association within the sector.
“Ang layunin po nito ay upang gawan ng mga hakbangin at solusyunan ‘yun pong mga complaints na nakasaad doon po sa report ng ILO (International Labor Organization) High-Level Tripartite Mission,” Laguesma said in a media interview during the 121st Labor Day celebration at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Sunday.
“At inaasahan po namin na ito po ang simula nun pong mga concerted na aksyon, hakbangin ng atin pong pamahalaan na matugunan ‘yung mga long-standing issues na may kinalaman po sa freedom of association,” the Labor chief added.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has earlier approved Executive Order No. 23, creating the inter-agency committee aimed at strengthening the coordination and speedy resolution of labor cases in the country.
The EO, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on April 30, 2023, also reinforces and protects and freedom of association and right to organize of workers.
The EO noted the concerns raised by various groups on the Philippines’ implementation of ILO Convention No. 87, “in view of reported incidents of acts of violence, extra-judicial killings, harassment, suppression of trade union rights and red-tagging allegedly perpetrated by State agents, targeting in particular, certain trade unions and workers’ organizations.”
The newly created Inter-Agency Committee will be headed by the Executive Secretary and co-chaired by the Secretary of Labor.
On the other hand, Laguesma announced the government, through the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, is facilitating the review of wage increase petitions by various labor groups and associations.
“At ang proseso po ay gumugulong, umiikot po ‘yan ngayon at umuusad ang atin po – at pinapabilis ng atin pong mga wage boards ‘yung kanilang deliberations ng sa ganun ‘yun pong mga nakahain na petition ay matugunan,” Laguesma said.
“Subalit gusto ko lamang bigyan ng diin, ang pwede pong gawin ng Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board ay may kinalaman sa adjustment ng minimum wage na prevailing. Hindi po kasama sa mandato ng atin pong iba-ibang wage boards ‘yung may kinalaman sa across-the-board,” he added. (PND)