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True to its mission of providing social partners with a mechanism for dialogue, consultation and information exchange towards building consensus and action plans on social and economic issues, policies and programs, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) and the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS), and in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO), conducted island-wide labor dialogues for the whole month of April.

Invitees from different sectors which include the youth, migrant, women, public, informal economy and formal were represented and have participated in the workshops that were conducted during the dialogues.

“May nakita akong recurring theme, regardless sa sector, women, youth, migrante, public, informal o formal, dapat iaddress yung precarious work o yung kondisyon sa paggawa at growing inequality. Nagpapasalamat kami sa DOLE, partikular sa BLR para sa pag-organize ng activity na ito”, said Julius Cainglet of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) who is one of the representatives from the youth sector.

This was seconded by Ms. Jillian Roque of the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), who is part of the Technical Working Group (TWG) that conceptualized the activity, saying “Ang mga manggagawa, hindi lang pang protesta at kalsada yan. Gusto namin ng dayalogo. Sana ay mapagpatuloy ang mga ganitong proseso kung sino man ang susunod na mamumuno”.

Significant progress or achievements were made under the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 (PDP) and the 22-Point Labor and Employment Agenda by mainstreaming decent employment through the Labor and Employment Plan 2011-2016 (LEP). Despite the milestones achieved, the world of work is undergoing major processes of change. This necessitates an assessment of the current state of the world of work, determination of the challenges and prospects for labor and employment by taking into account the global developments as well as sectoral concerns in the country, and identification of actions or goals and strategies to address what is seen as the “future of work” toward securing decent jobs for the Filipino workers.

The workshops after each dialogues generated inputs geared towards the formulation of a National Labor Sector Agenda that will address challenges for work in the Philippines and secure decent jobs for the future, guided by the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, ILO Centenary Initiatives (particularly on Future of Work Initiative), the Human Development Report 2015 which focuses on Work for Human Development and the Philippine Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) 2011-2015 Assessment Report.

The island-wide labor dialogues will culminate on April 30, 2016 in the National Labor Forum at the Occupational Safety and Health Center, where the National Labor Sector Agenda will be presented to President Benigno S. Aquino III.

END/ John Christopher P. Lapiz