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Legarda optimistic Senate will ratify ILO treaty to protect gov’t workers

August 10, 2017

The Senate has approved on second reading the committee report seeking its concurrence in the ratification of an International Labor Organization (ILO) treaty that provides protection of government workers’ right to organize and negotiate conditions of employment.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, expressed confidence on Wednesday that the Senate would pass the report on third reading and accede to ratify ILO Convention 151 next week.

In a statement, Legarda said that, if the Philippine should be ratify the convention, it would be the first Asian country to do so. Such move would also boost the country’s domestic and international status as a leader in promoting and protecting labor and civil rights, she added.

“I am optimistic that the Senate will concur in the ratification of ILO Convention 151 to give our 2.3 million civil servants the same rights available to private sector employees,” she said.

According to her, government employees have fewer rights compared to private sector employees – such as opportunities to negotiate terms and conditions of their employment.

“This is the inequality that the treaty seeks to address,” the senator, who also sponsored the committee report, said.

Legarda said the treaty would allow government employees to enjoy better working conditions by giving them opportunity to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment and the proper avenues to voice out their grievances.

“Civil servants have waited for 39 years for the ratification of this Convention. The Senate’s concurrence is a vote in upholding and promoting their labor rights,” she said.

The treaty specified five types of guarantees:

  • protection of the right to organize
  • facilities to be afforded to public employees’ organizations
  • procedures for determining terms and conditions of employment
  • settlement of disputes arising in connection with the determination of terms and conditions of employment
  • civil and political rights

The convention covers all persons employed by public authorities – civil servants employed in the national government agencies and its attached agencies, bureaus, local government units, and government-owned and controlled corporations.

Source: Inquirer