Message at the Bangsamoro Labour Summit, Labour Day 2021

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Bangsamoro Labour Summit, Labour Day 2021, 1 May 2021, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Cotabato City, Philippines via Zoom | 01 May 2021
  • Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim,
  • MOLE Minister Romeo K. Sema,
  • DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III,
  • Senator Christopher "Bong" Go,
  • Representatives of government, employers and businesses, trade unions and workers organizations,
  • Officials from the IOM, UN agencies, and CHD,
  • Distinguished guests,
  • Ladies and gentlemen,
Assalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

The International Labour Organization was founded in 1919, exactly 102 years ago to pursue its mandate that universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.

It is indeed an honour to be part of the Bangsamoro Labor Day in pursuit of advancing social justice, promoting decent work, and achieving sustainable development for lasting peace in the region.

My warmest congratulations to the Ministry of Labor and Employment for bringing together and giving a voice to workers and businesses through social dialogue.

The Bangsamoro Labour Summit Output reflected key issues and concerns from sectors such as construction, informal economy, power utilities, processing, production, and services, including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The ILO has been tracking the impact of COVID-19 on the world of work since early 2020, and actively supported policy responses, research and data analysis including in the Bangsamoro region.

The crisis exposed existing inequalities and decent work deficits, and threatens to deepen them. We listened to the voices of workers and businesses in this region on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected them.

ILO’s latest analysis confirms the massive impact of COVID-19 on labour markets. Our data shows that vulnerable groups such as women, youth, informal workers and migrant workers are unevenly affected, and the weakest continue to suffer.

Enterprises and workers in hard-hit sectors are struggling. In areas experiencing fragility, protracted conflict, climate change and forced displacement, risks are higher as people in these areas face multiple burdens.

We need a human-centred recovery, with justice and equity. A recovery that is sustainable and inclusive.

Coherent policy choices are crucial to build back better and greener with focus on respecting international labour standards, and protecting rights of workers and employers; generating jobs and ensuring decent working conditions for all; extending social protection; and using social dialogue to find solutions.

The world of work prior to the pandemic confronts transformative change, driven by technological innovations, demographic shifts, climate change, and globalization.

We have also seen an increase in digitalization especially during lockdowns.

All these challenges have a human face and certainly calls for a human-centred response. The ILO’s Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work outlines a human-centred approach based on social justice.

Adopted by the ILO’s 187 member States including the Philippines, the Declaration focuses on the need to invest in people’s capabilities, decent and sustainable work, and institutions of work.

The ILO will continue to support the Bangsamoro region for a human-centred recovery through decent work.

With the support of the Government of Japan, the ILO in partnership with MOLE is implementing projects in the Bangsamoro region to provide jobs and promote peace through improved water supply and sanitation services; and reduce child labour in support of education.

The ILO has ongoing research and data analysis in the region on promoting productive employment and skills development, and labour administration.

In a consultation and dialogue with the ILO, MOLE led by Minister Sema, underscored the need for a Bangsamoro Labor Code and stronger labour relations and administration in the region.

Rest assured of our support as part of the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines, which reflects shared priorities of government, workers and employers in the country, and the United Nations Socioeconomic and Peacebuilding Framework (SEPF).

The Framework serves as roadmap of UN system-wide support based on three pillars - people, prosperity and planet, and peace. Under the peace pillar, which the ILO co-convenes with IOM, decent work is a crucial element.

We need all these mechanisms in BARMM with the support of development partners. This will back the region in its goal to promote decent work and attain sustainable, just and lasting peace. Solidarity is key because no country, region or sector can recover alone.

We are in this together to build a better, greener future of work. The only sustainable route is together, hand in hand for a human-centred recovery, with social justice, decent work, lasting peace and dignity for all.

Wassalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

May peace be upon us all!