Our workers are our heroes says Legarda

May 1, 2013

Sen. Loren Legarda today (Wednesday) paid tribute to the country’s workers as they celebrate Labor Day, saying these heroes of hardwork are a valued part of the economy and the country would not function without them.

“I salute our country’s workforce for their significant contribution to the economy. The Constitution no less affirms labor as a primary social economic force,” Legarda said.

But Legarda added that as the country celebrates Labor Day, “let us not forget those people who are either unemployed or underemployed because also they deserve our attention.”

Legarda has authored many noteworthy laws aimed not only at protecting the rights of workers and promoting their welfare but also creating job opportunities and incentives for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Among the laws authored or co-authored by Legarda are the Kasambahay Law, the Maritime Labor Convention, the ILO Convention 189, Anti-Child Labor Law, Barangay Kabuhayan Act, Magna Carte for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Act.

Legarda has also organized and sponsored job fairs for fresh college graduates and the unemployed in Metro Manila and the provinces.

The ILO Convention 189 dramatically improves the employment conditions of domestic workers in the Philippines and abroad as their basic rights are clearly spelled out such as reasonable hours of work, weekly rest, clear information on terms and conditions of employment, and freedom of association.

The Maritime Labor Convention is the seafarers’ bill of rights and covers such basic rights as freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining agreement; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; the effective abolition of child labor, and the elimination of discrimination with respect to employment and occupation.

The PESO law aims to generate jobs as it mandates local government units (LGUs) to give information on available opportunities and services for both local and overseas employment as well as seek potential employers.

The law requires LGUs to seek potential employers for their residents by asking companies to submit to the PESO on a regular basis a list of job vacancies in their respective establishments as well as recruitment assistance to employers.

The MSME Law creates jobs through entrepreneurship. It obliges lending institutions to allocate at least eight percent (8%) of their total loan portfolio to micro and small businesses.

The Barangay Kabuhayan Act is another employment-generating legislation. It compels the establishment of livelihood and skills training centers in 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities and ensures that all livelihood and skills training centers offered by the national government are properly coordinated and implemented at the municipal level.