The Department of Labor and Employment shared with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and stakeholders the country’s Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) 2023-2028 during the Tripartite Cocktail Reception held on 27 June 2023 at the Centennial Hall of The Manila Hotel. The activity is part of the country’s 75th year anniversary as an ILO member.

Present during the event are ILO Director General Gilbert F. Houngbo, ILO Country Director Khalid Hassan, ILO invitees from the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of the Philippine government joined by DOLE Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma and all Senior Officials, Members of the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (labor and employer sectors), partners from key employment generators, UN
Country team and development partners.

Secretary Laguesma expressed gratitude for the partnership and collaboration with the ILO which contributed in guiding the nation’s development path.

“We are one of the first countries to embrace the ILO’s human-centered Decent Work Agenda. This Agenda recognizes the importance of full and productive employment, rights at work, social protection, and social dialogue and tripartism, with the cross-cutting concerns of gender mainstreaming, environmental sustainability and just transition, in achieving inclusive and sustainable development,” Secretary Laguesma added.

Secretary Laguesma shared to the ILO and other stakeholders the priority areas
identified in the Labor and Employment Plan 2023-2023 namely: 1) maximizing

productive, remunerative, freely chosen, and sustainable work and employment
opportunities; 2) ensuring labor governance that respects all fundamental principles and
rights at work, international labor standards and human rights; and 3) building an
equitable and inclusive social protection for all.

In maximizing productive, remunerative, freely chosen, and sustainable work and
employment opportunities for the Filipinos, DOLE underscored the specific outcomes on
increased employability; equal access to employment opportunities; shared labor
market governance; and enhanced enabling environment aimed at promoting
sustainable and resilient enterprises, particularly the micro, small-and-medium
enterprises (MSMEs).

The second priority of the LEP is to ensure labor governance that respects all
fundamental principles and rights at work, international labor standards and human
rights. Among the outcomes under this priority as mentioned in the plan are the
improved capacity of labor administration authorities to implement and enforce labor
standards and social and welfare legislation; higher level of responsibility from the social
partners themselves to ensure compliance with labor standards; and a more effective
participation in social dialogue and tripartite processes toward better, consensus-driven
policies and decisions in promoting compliance.

“The third priority of the LEP is to extend social protection to all through enhanced and
inclusive implementation of social protection policies, programs and mechanisms, as
well as through strengthened policy and legal framework supported by research,”
Secretary Laguesma added.

DOLE noted that one of the major challenges in implementing social protection policies
involves rationalization of scattered social protection programs for maximum impact and
refocusing social protection programs to combine passive welfare measures with more
active labor market measures such as training and employment facilitation.

“The responsibility for its implementation, monitoring and evaluation is not government’s
alone, but is to be shared jointly by the social partners. The next step is to have tripartite
action planning sessions, at which we will identify the specific actions that we will take,
the agencies and sectors responsible, and the resources that we can mobilize to give
flesh to the priorities, outcomes and strategies that we have agreed upon,” Secretary
Laguesma said.

Secretary Laguesma pointed out that the LEP is not only aligned with the ILO’s Decent
Work Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals under the UN Agenda 2030. “It
is also a document that we hope will help us mobilize resources and funding toward
DOLE’s own priority areas, namely employment and human resource development,
workers protection and welfare, and sound and balanced labor-management relations
that is sustained by high levels of productivity and full respect to the fundamental
principles and rights at work,” the labor chief said.

During the series of consultations, ILO Country Director Khalid Hassan extended the
organization’s full support and commended the government’s strong commitment in
bringing together decent work priorities to achieve social justice and decent work for all.

After the series of stakeholder consultations, the DOLE is now set to submit its
proposed plan to the Cabinet for approval.

Prior to the event, the DOLE met with the Employers Confederation of the Philippines
(ECOP) where a conference resolution was presented on the ECOP’s call for the
government, industry associations, enterprises, and workers associations to prioritize
the mutual rights and well-being of the social partners in all workplace transitions, and
ensure their active participation in social dialogues.

Meanwhile, labor groups said that they will closely monitor the response of the Cabinet,
particularly its economic cluster, on the draft LEP.

In 1948, the Philippines joined the ILO and since then, the country has been one of the
ILO’s earliest and most active members, giving strong support to policies and
programmes. The Philippines, through government, employers, and workers’
partnership, was the first country in Asia to participate in a pilot programme on decent