Decent Work

Opening address at the National Consultation Workshop on Decent Work

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the National Consultation Workshop on Decent Work, Manila, Philippines, 13 December 2017

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 13 December 2017
  • Undersecretary Maglunsod of the Department of Labor and Employment,
  • Other officials of the Department of Labor and Employment
  • Representatives of other government agencies, commissions, including those from the legislative and judicial branches
  • Representatives from the employers and workers organizations,
  • Representatives of civil society organizations
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good morning to all of you!
I am delighted to welcome all of you to the National Consultation on Decent Work. Many of you have travelled long distances, all the way from Mindanao, including those who navigated through the Manila traffic in December. Thank you for coming. Your presence and participation is very much appreciated. This is indeed an indication of your commitment to promoting Decent Work.

Decent Work is as important and relevant today as it was 17 years ago when the Agenda was first introduced in the Philippines, as a pilot country in Asia.

Decent Work is important to achieve inclusive and economic growth in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, as Goal 8. Moreover, the four pillars of Decent Work - including rights, employment, social dialogue and social protection - all support other goals under the SDGs.

Decent work reflects the Filipino people’s aspirations in AmBisyon 2040 as a way out of poverty and for Filipinos to enjoy a strongly rooted, comfortable and secure life.

The Decent Work Country Programme is a delivery mechanism that will contribute to the implementation of relevant components of national and international frameworks - the Philippine Development PlanAmBisyon, DOLE’s eight-point labour and employment agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 8 and decent work elements in other goals.

In view of this, a concerted effort by all relevant stakeholders - the ILO, the UN system, other international development partners, government, workers, private sectors, workers as well as civil society - is needed to ensure that we are able to address decent work deficits of today and the emerging challenges in the future.

In 2019, the ILO will be 100 years old. In line with its Centenary initiative, the ILO will apply its long standing mandate to tackle modern and contemporary challenges that affect the state of the world of work.

The Centenary Initiatives include the Future of Work as the centrepiece. The Future of work will anticipate ILO support to address emerging challenges caused by technology, globalization of production system, climate change, changing demographics and migration.

Other Centenary initiatives that also feed into the Future of Work and are likewise strategically significant in the ILO’s broader areas of work, which include:
  • the Standards Initiative
  • the End to Poverty Initiative
  • Women at Work Initiative
  • the Enterprise Initiative, and
  • the Green Initiative
Let me also highlight ILO’s Policy Framework that are relevant to the Decent Work Country Programmes.

The ILO is instituting its Strategic Plan for 2018 to 2021, which is ILO’s medium term planning document. It is a “high level, visionary document” and presents “substantive and organizational steps towards the realization of the strategic vision.

It includes reference to the ILO’s Centenary Initiatives and importance of Decent Work in the SDGs. Within this Strategic Plan, the ILO has adopted the Programme and Budget for 2018 to 2019, which establishes both a programme of work and a budget covering 2 years, based on the priorities identified in the Strategic Plan.

To respond the current realities and challenges in the world of work, the ILO has identified 10 Global Policy Outcomes:
  • More and better jobs for inclusive growth and improved youth employment prospects
  • Ratification and application of international labour standards
  • Creating and extending social protection floors
  • Promoting sustainable enterprises
  • Formalization of the informal economy
  • Promoting safe work and workplace compliance including in global supply chains
  • Protecting workers from unacceptable forms of work
  • Fair and effective international labour migration and mobility
  • Strong and representative employers' and workers' organizations
Thus, we are gathered here today for a national consultation to consolidate and to integrate results of previous activities, and start organizing them systematically into results-based priorities, outcomes and outputs aimed at achieving development goals.

We have completed consultations with the government, employers and workers group. Today’s national consultation is in line with the agreements during the High Level Tripartite Meeting held on October 30.

Your voices matter in setting priorities and shaping the Decent Work Country Programme covering the following major themes - growth with employment (work opportunities), work with rights, and social protection for all.

These themes hold true everywhere, but must be pursued in national contexts. Decent Work Country Programmes have been established as the main framework for ILO’s coordinated support, through development cooperation and ILO’s comparative advantage, based on priorities of the constituents and social partners.

Social dialogue is central for the formulation of the Decent Work Country Programme, as well as in the planning, implementation and evaluation phases where the constituents and social partners are engaged.

The constituents are not only seen as beneficiaries but also key actors and implementers in the whole process, ensuring their mandate and ownership of the decent work country programme process.

For the ILO, success depends on the degree to which your priorities are reflected and the level of engagement in the various stages.

Social dialogue process and strong ownership was also adopted when we completed the Decent Work Diagnostics, in very close partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment.

The Diagnostics is part of the initial preparation for the Decent Work Country Programme, which serves as an analytical document in developing the Decent Work Country Programme. The Diagnostics provides evidence-based analysis on the progress and situation, including challenges to achieve decent work.

We encourage you to use the diagnostics as reference in identifying key problems and outcome areas.

Your collective views and ideas are important contributions to this planning process as social partners of the ILO.

Most of you are very familiar with results-based planning. This will be the approach adopted in the Decent Work Country Programme using the Theory of Change as a tool and highlighting the importance of measuring, monitoring and evaluating results.

Taking into account the diverse background of the participants, I foresee a dynamic exchange. I am confident that this exercise will yield productive results.

Before I close, let me express my sincerest appreciation to the Department of Labor and Employment for their continuing collaboration which has made this event possible. I also thank you for your presence and continued partnership. Partnerships are a way to implement and to make this happen through decent work.

The ILO’s Strategic Policy Framework highlights the context of transformative change when the Constitution was adopted in 1919. The “conditions of labour exist involving such injustice, hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled; and an improvement of those conditions is urgently required”. This is still the description of the situation today.

Let me end by reiterating that Decent Work is a ticket for Filipinos to be among those who “live in a prosperous, predominantly middle class society, where no one is poor”.

May we all be successful in achieving this aspiration of all Filipinos.

Thank you!