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PH advocates for regional coordination on employee welfare

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On Friday, labor representatives from the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members came to an agreement on the regional cooperation’s top priorities for advancing worker welfare and well-being.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) was the Philippines’ representative at the 27th ASEAN Labor Ministers’ Meeting (ALMM), which was held in Manila and was presided over by the Philippines. Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma persuaded his counterparts to increase investments in workforce competitiveness and human resource development while ensuring better working conditions and bolstering protection for the displaced and vulnerable.

However, as the digitalization of businesses brings about new work processes and structures, the participating nations decided to closely collaborate in order to strengthen ICT regulations, infrastructures, and systems.

The ASEAN member states supported the Philippines’ two-year agenda, which calls for modernizing the agriculture sector to create new employment opportunities, ensure food security, and protect workers’ income from rising food prices. This shows the member states’ commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth in ASEAN.

According to the labor secretary, Bienvenido stated that he is confident that emphasizing agriculture will not only help us combat hunger but also increase jobs and assist many people to escape poverty.

The meeting’s chair for this year advocated for skill development through technical vocational education and training (TVET) programs that support social fairness, ICT innovation, and lower-skilled workers’ and rural communities access to higher-paying jobs.

Laguesma emphasized the necessity of creating universal standards for skills and mutual skill recognition, effective and integrated labor market information, portable social protection, and the reorientation of TVET to meet the rapidly evolving skill needs of industries in order to achieve this goal.

The labor ministers concurred that enhancing these goals will make it easier for employees in the Asean region to migrate between sectors and countries and find employment.

A joint communique adopted by the labor ministers at the meeting contains an account of the discussions and agreements.

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