DOLE fortifies labor sector’s role in peace, dev’t

“Ang kapayapaan ay siyang tunay na yaman.”


In its efforts to continuously promote the welfare and protection of Bicol workers and foster industrial peace and harmony, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol through the Sectoral Unification, Capacity Building, Empowerment and Mobilization Cluster (SUCBEM) Cluster of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) conducted a two-day regional conference for peace and development (RCPD) via video teleconferencing (VTC) and face-to-face at BU Engineering Gymnasium last May 19, 20, 2021, respectively.


DOLE Regional Director Ma. Zenaida A. Angara-Campita said that the agency fully supports activities such as sectoral deliberation to address the gaps and challenges in the labor sector faced by the government in providing lasting peace and inclusive development in the countryside.


The activity provided a platform for advocacy of legitimate sectoral issues and concerns, validate governance and development gaps of communities, and identify needed government interventions to address the same.


It also aims to formulate a peace and development agenda for the sectors within the framework of Constitution, National Unity, and inclusive and sustainable development.


During the first day of the RCPD, a virtual consultative forum was held per sector. Around 25 representatives of various labor groups/ unions participated in the workshop through VTC.


Led by DOLE, Campita recognized the significant role of the labor force as the backbone of the country’s economy.


“We acknowledge you for participating in this virtual conference today because as leaders or representatives of your respective labor organizations, you give your co-workers a collective voice in your workplace to determine the gaps and for the government to resolve the issues,” Campita added.


Meanwhile, the output of the first day activity presents the labor sector’s proposal for peace and development.


Romina E. Villamor of Aquinas University Union presented the recommendations of the labor sector on some issues raised concerning minimum wage, collective bargaining, availment of various assistance to workers, vaccination, red-tagging, contractualization and lack of employment opportunities, among others.


The concerns raised and discussed during the forum will be consolidated and will form part in properly identifying policy gaps to improve programs and services for the sector and basis in crafting policy reforms both in the legislative and executive branch.


The conference was held in accordance with Executive Order 70, which utilizes a whole-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace within the country.


Moreover, Villamor said that the recently held activity provided a venue for the various sectors to lay down salient issues that needed immediate attention and action. She added that it also created an opportunity for the various sectors to come face to face with the heads of government instrumentalities and personally impart to them our views and opinions relative to the given issues.


“By soliciting our proposals to address the issues given, we were made to feel the relevance of our existence as an organization contributing to the government’s effort to provide better living conditions for our citizens. Endeavors like this must be regularly conducted to ensure continuity of the consultations between the sectors and the concerned agencies to address issues and concerns with commitment.”


“Maganda itong conference dahil nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na mailahad namin ang mga isyu patungkol sa paggawa. Dapat hindi matapos sa pagkuha lamang ng aming mga hinaing, bagkus ay magawan ng aksyon ng pamahalaan,” said Gregorio M. Cid who is one of the participants in the multi-sectoral RCPD yesterday.


“Sana magkaroon ng magandang resulta, dahil ito ay magsisilbing accomplishment para sa atin,” Jorge Ygusguiza said


Meanwhile, a ceremonial signing of a regional manifesto in support of the region’s peace and development agenda concluded the said conference.