Philippines Assumes Historic Role As Chair Of ILO Government Group

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The Philippines makes history in the world labor front as it assumes chairmanship of the International Labor Organization’s government group, the first non-regular member country of the ILO to take such role, the labor department reported on Sunday.

This marks a significant shift in the policy-making global tripartite body that has been traditionally led by big, powerful member-countries, DOLE said.

“With the chairmanship of the government group, the Philippines will be in a key position in the setting of global labor standards. We will also exercise pivotal role in helping the ILO achieve full, equal, and more democratic participation of its small, non-regular members in setting policies and programs,” Bello said.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Geneva said the Philippines formally assumed the post last week after completing its vice chairmanship position.

As head of the body representing governments, the Philippines will play a leading role in the Governing Body of the ILO which convenes every March, June, and November, Labor Attaché to Geneva Cheryl Daytec said in her report.

With the mandate, Secretary Bello will preside over the Government Body Sessions and the International Labour Conference (ILC) Government Group meetings.

The labor chief congratulated the Philippine Permanent Mission to the UN and the POLO in Geneva for having relentlessly pursued the country’s long quest for the coveted seat.

“With the chairmanship of the government group, the Philippines will be in a key position in the setting of global labor standards. We will also exercise pivotal role in helping the ILO achieve full, equal, and more democratic participation of its small, non-regular members in setting policies and programs,” Bello said.

The Governing Board comprises 56 titular members (28 Governments, 14 Employers, and 14 Workers) and 66 deputy members (28 Governments, 19 Employers, and 19 Workers). It decides on ILO policy, sets the agenda of the International Labor Conference, adopts the draft Programme and Budget of the Organization for submission to the Conference, and elects the Director-General.

The Philippines, as Government Group chair, will serve as the primary communication channel between the Office and the Group, directly or in parallel to Regional Coordinators, and as required with the Employer and Worker Groups.

It is also responsible for convening and chairing the Group meetings during and outside ILO official meetings and facilitating negotiation for a common position, thus contributing to reaching consensus.

The ILO is a United Nations (UN) agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labor standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialized agency of the UN.

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