ILO Director-General concludes first ever Philippines visit with call for more social dialogue

Three-day visit includes meetings with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., social partners, migrant workers and a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Philippines joining the ILO.

Press release | Manila, Philippines | 28 June 2023
ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo during his courtesy call to H.E. President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. ©Presidential Communications Office
MANILA (ILO News) – The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Gilbert F. Houngbo, has concluded his first official visit to the Philippines during which he emphasized the need to strengthen social dialogue between the government, employers and workers.

“This visit has provided an excellent opportunity to discuss a wide range of world of work issues faced by the Philippines. The open and productive talks we have held leave me confident that the Philippines is on track towards a bright future. However, I encourage greater social dialogue between representatives of government, employers and workers in order to make progress on outstanding issues as well as to make decent work and social justice a reality for all,” Houngbo said.

During his visit, Houngbo met with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., as well senior officials from the Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Migrant Workers. He also held a dialogue with representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.

He took part in celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the Philippines joining the ILO and delivered the keynote address at the global seafarers’ summit Seafarer 2050 – Shaping the Future of Shipping. He also spoke at the National Conference of Employers of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines.

In addition, Houngbo met the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), heads of agencies and members of the United Nations Country Team, and the UN Resident Coordinator.

While in Metro Manila, the Director-General also visited the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in Quezon City where he had the chance to interact with migrant workers as well as see first-hand the support services offered.

“What I have seen and heard during this visit and from my discussions at the Department of Migrant Workers confirms the excellent work being carried out to support Filipino migrant workers and their families. I sincerely hope that these best practices from the Philippines can be shared with other countries in this region and beyond,” Houngbo said.