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Access to labor protection info gets nod from workers, employers groups

June 15, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 161 views

SENATOR Raffy Tulfo’s proposed amendment to include migrant workers’ right to have “access to relevant labor protection information” in the Draft Conclusions of the Committee on Labour Protection in the International Labor Organization (ILO) clinched the approval of both employers and workers groups.

Tulfo’s amendment, which he said is essential to achieve universal and effective labor protection for all workers and which is in line with ILO’s advocacy in this 111th Conference, gets the support of Japan.

Notably, Tulfo defended his amendment before representatives of different countries.

He shared that said amendment is rooted from his personal experience in his program “Wanted sa Radyo,” wherein the relatives of seafarers who asked for help regarding their missing relatives complained that shipowners and authorities of the country investigating the case would not share vital information with them.

With Japan concurring with his proposed amendment and the workers and employers group giving it a thumbs up, it was immediately passed.

Likewise, Tulfo opposed the proposed amendment by an employer’s group to remove limits on employees’ working hours during the said hearing.

Tulfo, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers and Vice Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, did not accept said group’s move to soften the policy on working hours and overtime by merely regulating it instead of providing clear limits and standards.

In expressing his opposition, Tulfo cited the plight of overworked security guards in the Philippines, who are often forced to be on duty for up to 20 hours straight without a day off.

As a result of this, Tulfo explained that a security guard does not have a “healthy work-life balance.” Being pressured into accepting excessively long working hours forces them to compromise their time for family and time for their own personal care.

Additionally, Tulfo said that they are already facing health and safety issues which are affecting the quality of their work.

That’s why Tulfo maintained that there should be limitations on the working hours of employees working locally and abroad.

Notably, the leader of the labor group agreed to Tulfo’s points, which prompted the employer’s group to withdraw and not push through with their amendment.