PH welcomes US grant to ILO for monitoring of local labor conditions
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine embassy in the United States welcomed on Saturday Washington’s $1-million technical assistance grant aimed at strengthening workers’ rights and improving the labor inspection systems in the country.
“This is yet another initiative that reflects the enduring strategic partnership between the Philippines and the United States,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said in a statement shortly after the International Labor Affairs Bureau of the US Department of Labor announced the grant.
The grant, which the US awarded to the International Labor Organization, is intended to help improve the effectiveness of labor inspections in the Philippines, particularly in the areas of occupational safety and health and labor rights monitoring by workers, employers and their representatives.
“The assistance will further accelerate our compliance with global labor standards,” Cuisia said, commending the Department of Labor and Employment, particularly Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, who he said, vigorously negotiated for its approval in behalf of the Philippines.
In selecting the Philippines, the ILAB noted the number of steps taken by the country to increase staff and enhance technology in labor inspections.
It said the grant will help the country with these efforts by improving labor law compliance and labor rights monitoring.
“This kind of targeted technical cooperation assistance impacts significantly the promotion of labor standards enforcement and compliance in the Philippines and ensures the protection of workers rights to decent employment,” Cuisia said.
The Philippine labor attaché in the US, Angel Borja, said the announcement of the grant was timely as the Philippines was working hard to sustain the gains the economy achieved in 2014 and gearing up to meet new development challenges in 2015 and beyond.
“As a way forward, the role of a robust and institutionalized labor inspection regime that guarantees employers compliance to internationally accepted labor standards on a sustainable basis cannot simply be over-emphasized,” Borja said.
“Labor inspections as a means of enforcing existing labor laws are essential to raising standards for workers around the world,” said US Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs Carol Pier, who also announced a $2-million grant for Peru.
“These projects will build on existing efforts within Peru and the Philippines to help those countries better enforce their labor laws and protect workers’ rights,” Pier added.
Since 1995, ILAB has worked with other governments and international organizations to identify aid that countries may require to improve the labor conditions of their workers.
ILAB’s Office of Trade and Labor Affairs currently provides approximately $76 million in technical assistance to improve worker rights, livelihood and labor law compliance in more than 70 countries around the world.
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