Philippine Standard Time:

With the important role of the youth as future entrants into the labor force and as agents of social justice and industrial peace, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in coordination with the International Labour Organization (ILO), conducted an orientation seminar on International Labor Standards (ILS), particularly ILO Convention Nos. 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, respectively, on 03 December 2013 at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Auditorium.

Approximately 200 students primarily composed by law students from the PLM, Universidad de Manila (UDM) and Lyceum of the Philippines participated in the seminar.

“DOLE has been conducting orientation seminars for the stakeholders, including our youth, most especially to our law students who will become legislators, implementers and decision-makers in the future, to enable them to defend the rights of our workers and contribute to the sustainment of harmonious industrial relations”, said Executive Director Reynaldo R. Ubaldo, National Conciliation and Mediation Board, in delivering the opening remarks on behalf of DOLE Undersecretary Rebecca C. Chato.

Giving messages of support to the collaborative capacity-building venture were Dean Ernesto P. Maceda of PLM, Dean Venancio B. Padilla of Universidad de Manila, and Atty. Cezar Villalobos of the Lyceum of the Philippines, all of whom remarked on the importance of equipping students, especially those taking up law, with basic knowledge that will guide them in contributing to the sustainment of a stable labor relations climate in the Philippines.

Two (2) resource speakers, Ms. Janice Datu Sanguyo, ILO and Atty. Romeo M. Montefalco, Jr., Bureau of Labor Relations, delivered a presentation on ILS and ILO Convention Nos. 87 and 98, respectively.

Ms. Sanguyo introduced ILO to the participants as a tripartite international organization aiming to promote social justice by improving security, stability and productivity for all. The participants were informed of the processes of creation, ratification, implementation, and supervisory mechanisms of ILS, together with the role of ILO in supporting a country to meet its ILS goals through moral suasion and ongoing dialogues.

Complementarily, Atty. Montefalco discussed the concepts of freedom of association, collective bargaining, and civil liberties embodied in ILO Convention Nos. 87 and 98, including their significance in the protection and promotion of human rights in which labor rights are inclusive. “Freedom of association and collective bargaining are among the fundamental human rights”, said Atty. Montefalco during his presentation. He added that, “full respect for these rights improve the possibility for long-term industrial peace”.

Atty. Montefalco likewise emphasized the significance of teaching the concepts of ILS, freedom of association and collective bargaining to the law students, who will become legislators, implementers and decision-makers in the future, in order to enable them to ensure the effective exercise of trade union rights and the prevention of violations of the workers’ fundamental rights to self-organization and collective bargaining.