MANILA, Philippines - The United States government’s $1-million technical assistance grant to the International Labor Organization (ILO) will bolster the Philippines’ labor inspection capacity and workers’ rights.
US embassy spokesman Kurt Hoyer said the assistance would accelerate the country’s compliance with global labor standards.
The International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) of the US Department of Labor announced the grant, which was awarded to the ILO for implementation.
It is intended to help improve the effectiveness of labor inspections in the Philippines on occupational safety and health and labor rights monitoring.
“This is yet another initiative that reflects the enduring strategic partnership between the Philippines and the United States,” said Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr.
Cuisia commended Department of Labor and Employment and Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz for negotiating for its approval.
In selecting the Philippines, the ILAB noted the steps taken by the country to increase staff and enhance technology in labor inspections.
It said the grant would improve labor law compliance and rights monitoring.
"This kind of targeted technical cooperation assistance impacts significantly on the promotion of labor standards enforcement and compliance in the Philippines and ensures the protection of workers’ rights to decent employment," Cuisia said.
Labor attaché Angel Borja said “the announcement of the grant could not have come at a more timely occasion when the Philippines is working hard to sustain the gains of the economy in 2014 and gear 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 be overemphasized,” Borja said.
“Labor inspections as a means of enforcing existing labor laws are essential to raising standards for workers around the world,” said 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.”
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 workers’ rights, livelihoods and labor law compliance in more than 72 countries around the world.
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