“Nais kong ipabatid sa inyo ang aking pagsaludo sa bawat manggagawa na nasa impormal na sektor. Sa bawat sakripisyo na inyong binibigay para sa inyong pamilya at sa bayan, nararapat lamang na magkaroon ng pag-angat ang antas ng inyong pamumuhay”.
Those are the words uttered by the DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III during the conduct of the 7th Workers in the Informal Economy Labor Day Celebration on May 4, 2018 in Cebu City.
With a total of 15.68 million, Workers in the Informal Economy (WIE), or those who are home-based workers, non-corporate construction workers, vendors, small transport workers, and workers who are not under a formal labor contract, have a significant portion and contribution to the country’s economy.
However, notwithstanding that fact, these workers remain insufficiently covered by labor policies and standards such as occupational safety and health, social dialogue, and social protection---putting at risk their rights, welfare, and representation.
To raise the imminent issues and challenges of the sector, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1215, series of 1998, entitled “Declaring May 1 to 7 of Every Year as Linggo ng Paggawa” signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos, the DOLE was mandated jointly with the National Anti-Poverty Commission-Workers in the Informal Sector Council (NAPC-WISC) to spearhead a labor day activity for the WIE.
For this year, 395 participants composed of WIE, representatives from DOLE-registered Rural Workers’ Associations Workers’ Associations, members of NAPC-WISC, representatives from partner-agencies and LGUs, media partners, and DOLE personnel were gathered for the activity.
The NAPC-WISC and the DOLE, through the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, presented the key developments in advancing of WIE advocacies. The participants were also given updates on the recent developments with regard to programs and services that are currently spearheaded by the government agencies and of the advocacies by the NAPC-WISC.
“Ang pagkamit sa patas at makabuluhang pagbabago ay isang mahabang paglalakbay, na kinakailangan ng lakas at tibay ng loob upang mapagtagumpayanan ang inaasam na layunin. Higit sa lahat, nangangailangan din ito ng pagkaka-isa: sa paniniwalang isinusulong, pagkaka-isa ng mismong samahan/grupo at pagkaka-isa ng iba’t-ibang ahensya, tungo sa mas maayos na working conditions para sa mga manggagawa ng impormal na sector”. Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod said as motioned everyone to be united and committed in coming up with recommendations to address the vulnerabilities of the WIE.
Undersecretary Maglunsod also addressed the partner organizations present and called for their continuous support in advancing the rights of the advocacies of the WIE. “Sa pamamagitan ng tulong at suporta mula sa iba’t-ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan at maging sa partner agencies mula sa pribadong sector, ating sabay-sabay na isulong ang makabuluhang pagbabago para sa mga manggagawa ng impormal na sector”, Undersecretary Maglunsod stated.
Further, Secretary Bello, who gave his utmost recognition to the WIE, made a mark as he said to the participants, “Bagamat mabibigat ang mga balakid na kailangan nating lampasan, asahan ninyo na hindi bibitiw ang pamahalaan, lalo na ang DOLE, habang ating binabagtas ang daan tungo sa kaunlaran”.