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20 countries to adopt PHL initiatives to protect women, overseas workers

Twenty countries will adopt Philippine initiatives to protect women and overseas Filipino workers, especially in crisis situations, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said. In a news release, the DOLE said the Philippine position on four key labor and migration issues  were successfully integrated into the regional framework of cooperation in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue II in Manila this week. The Abu Dhabi Dialogue is a dialogue of 11 countries of migrant worker origin which are members of the Colombo Process: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.   It also includes nine countries of migrant worker destination: Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.   "I am happy to announce that the Philippine position on key issues in managing labor migration and maximizing the mutual benefits from labor mobility in the Asian region have been incorporated in the Framework on Regional Cooperation adopted at the end of the three-day Abu Dhabi Dialogue II," said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. Among the Philippines' major inputs were:
  • protection of women workers
  • cooperation in times of emergency crisis
  • facilitation of repatriation of nationals, and
  • regulation of cost of migration.
Also incorporated in the Philippine position are:
  • skills classification and recognition of the productivity of workers
  • clear definition of the qualification requirements for jobs
  • adoption of a mutually acceptable standard employment contracts which prescribe minimum terms, and
  • when disputes arise, observance of existing migration policies and regulations of Countries of Origin (COOs) and Countries of Destination (CODs).
  “We expect this continuing process to be an open, frank, and honest dialogue as inputs from participating countries will be critical in providing concrete, practical and comprehensive measures, based on best practices, from pre-departure to admission and employment, and from preparation for return to return and reintegration of migrant workers,” Baldoz said. “The Framework of Regional Collaboration of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue will further enhance cooperation between country of origin and country of destination. The framework is aimed at promoting cooperation, improving efficiency, and enhancing protections which can benefit migrant workers in Asia,” she added.   The DOLE also highlighted its national reintegration program for migrant women workers, the Balik Pinay, Balik Hanapbuhay Project.   The skills-training and livelihood intervention project assists Filipino women workers who were displaced from their overseas jobs as a result of incidents in the Middle East, Korea, and Japan.   Baldoz also highlighted the efforts of the Philippine government to ratify the International Labor Organization Convention 189 (C189), or the Domestic Workers’ Convention.   ILO's C189 would greatly benefit household service workers in many parts of the globe and has gained support from social partners, including religious groups and the academe.   The Philippine government has exerted parallel efforts in pushing for the enactment into law of the Kasambahay Bill or Magna Carta for Domestic Workers.   If passed into law, the measure would ensure greater protection for Filipino household workers, many of whom become the subject of abuse and exploitation by their employers.   The Philippines was represented in the dialogue by senior officials of the DOLE led by Undersecretary Danny Cruz as Chairman; Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Carmelita Dimzon; Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator Hans Cacdac; and Professional Regulation Commission Chairperson Teresita Manzala as members. PHL, chairman of dialogue in next 2 years   Meanwhile, Baldoz also welcomed the consensus of countries participating in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue process to make the Philippines chairman of the Dialogue in the next two years.   "I welcome this as a recognition of the Philippines's commitment to champion not only the welfare and protection of overseas Filipino workers, but also the cause of migrant workers all over Asia," she said in a separate news release.   United Arab Emirates Labor Minister Saqr Ghobash, the current chairperson of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, turned over the gavel to Baldoz.   Ghobash expressed his gratitude to the Philippines for the successful hosting of the event, saying it was a testament to the country's commitment to the welfare of Filipinos overseas.   "It is befitting that the Philippines stepped forward to chair the ADD Process. The Philippines has historically been in the lead among nations when it comes to engagement and participation in regional and international fora that address issues and challenges of labor migration," he said.   "During the last four years that the UAE chaired the ADD, the Philippines was consistently engaged in the implementation of the recommendations of the Ministerial Consultation and actively participated in pilot projects and programs, the outcome of which were documented in the approved technical report to the Abu Dhabi Dialogue II," he added. - VVP, GMA News
Tags: abudhabi, dole, women, ofws