Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, briefing officials and employees on her trip last week to Japan, yesterday said the DOLE will not compromise on social protection, particularly for workers that have survived natural disasters and calamities.

"This is the message I relayed to Japanese parliamentarians whom I met and discussed the recovery and rebuilding efforts of the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. I informed them we are not after the numbers, but the quality and decency of work that we provide to survivors of tragedies to enable them to immediately stand up on their own after the crisis," Baldoz said at the Monday flag-raising ceremony at the DOLE in Intramuros.

She said program implementers, particularly DOLE regional directors, are under standing orders to ensure that worker-survivors benefitting from the cash-for-work program are provided with the minimum social protection benefits, such as social insurance and personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, hard hats, masks, etc.

"This goes true even to our livelihood program beneficiaries. I will hold you responsible and accountable for this," Baldoz said.

She explained that her meeting with the Japanese Parliamentarians' League bore positive results as the government of Japan had added US$2.5 million in financial assistance to Typhoon Yolanda survivors through the cash-for-work, or emergency employment program. The assistance will be given to the International Labor Organization which Baldoz said will partner with the DOLE in the program's implementation.

Baldoz went to Japan to speak at the ILO's Symposium on Employment-led Post-Disaster Recovery.

The members of the Japanese Parliamentarian's League, led by Masahiko Komura, a ranking leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and President of the House of Representatives, were impressed with the Philippines's rebuilding and recovery efforts. The members of the league who met with the Secretary included Eisuke Mori (JDP), Vice President of the House of Representatives; Noriko Furuya, New Komeito Party, also Vice President of the House of Representatives; Atsushi Oshima (JDP); Masaharu Nakagawa (JDP); Takahashi Tanihata (Japan Restoration Party); Yoshiki Yamashita (Japanese Communist Party); all Executive Board Members of the House; and Michihiro Ishibasi (JDP), Secretary General of the House of Councilors.

"This is the first time that the Japanese Parliamentarians' League had met with a Secretary of Labor and Employment from the Philippines," Baldoz said, adding:

"On behalf of the Philippine government, I thanked the government of Japan and the Japanese Parliamentarian's League for its generous support and assistance to our rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts after the typhoon."

While in Japan, Baldoz also met with Philippine Ambassador to Tokyo Manuel Lopez who gave an update of Japan's assistance to the country in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda.

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