Opening address at the virtual forum on ILO Convention No. 188 on the Work in Fishing Convention

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the virtual forum on ILO Convention No. 188 on the Work in Fishing Convention, 29 November 2021, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines via Zoom | 29 November 2021
Assistant Secretary Teresita Cucueco, Department of Labor and Employment
Mr Margarito Raynera from the EU Delegation to the Philippines,
Our partners from the government, workers and employers organizations,
Representatives of the civil society, recruitment agencies, media and project partners,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga sa inyong lahat (Good morning to all of you)!

We are grateful for your presence in today’s Virtual Forum on ILO Convention No. 188 or the Work in Fishing Convention, which was adopted in 2007.

This Forum aims to generate discussion on areas of substantial conformity of current Philippine laws and regulations to Convention 188. Likewise, the Forum is a learning platform to identify and discuss areas of partial conformity and non-conformity.

The Forum is organized under the Ship to Shore Rights Southeast Asia (or SEA) Programme, which aims to promote regular and safe labour migration and decent work in the fishing and seafood processing sectors in Southeast Asia. The SEA Programme is a multi-country, multi-annual initiative of the European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) agencies – the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Today’s forum among national stakeholders is opportune especially because the Philippines has recently strengthened its national legislation in relation to various aspects of the working conditions of fishers on fishing vessels. These include new regulations from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). In particular, DOLE Department Order 156 and its ensuing orders underscore the importance of workers in fishing vessels.

Aside from the SEA Programme, the ILO has been strategic in our overall support to the fishing sector, including the tuna and sardines industry, with other projects such as the USDOL Improving workers’ rights in the rural sectors with a focus on women, and the EU-supported project on Responsible Supply Chains Asia.

The ILO also implements a portfolio of labour migration projects such as the FAIR Recruitment project, the Safe and Fair programme, and the UN Joint Programme BRIDGE.

These programmes support the National Employment Recovery Strategy and the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines for a human-centred recovery that leaves no one behind.

The SEA Programme, within its mandate and scope, will support your organizations and agencies’ work in the fishing and seafood processing sectors. This Forum is an important step to strengthen and reinforce our collaboration.

By working together, we can help achieve safe migration and decent work for Filipino migrant fishers and seafood processing workers.

Thank you!