After years of advocacy and legislative campaign for the welfare of millions of Filipino workers here and abroad, especially women and our OFWs, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) lauds His Excellency President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos, Jr. for the ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 190 or the Violence and Harassment Convention of 2019, calling the act a milestone of the current Administration and of the steadfast leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez at the House of Representatives in ensuring protection to our workers.
“The President’s ratification of this groundbreaking global treaty that seeks to end all forms of violence and harassment confronted by all types of workers demonstrates his Administration’s firm resolve towards a modern and modernizing Philippine society. His leadership from the front solidifies the Philippines as the newest priority investment hub through progressive, worker-centered and race-to-the-top labor relations—tungo sa Bagong Pilipinas para sa Manggagawang Pilipino,” stated House of Representatives Deputy Speaker and TUCP President Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza, who was one of the principal authors of House Resolution No. 43 adopted by the House of Representatives calling for the immediate ratification of ILO C190.
“The TUCP is grateful to Speaker Martin Romualdez for steering the House of Representatives to adopt House Resolution No. 43 calling for the immediate ratification of ILO C190 back in January 2023. We also thank our partners in the business groups for a bipartite campaign for its ratification. Now, we look forward to the concurrence of the Senate led by Senate President Juan Miguel ‘Migz’ Zubiri who vowed to vote for the concurrence to the ratification of ILO C190 and urged all concerned agencies to speed up the ratification and its deposit of the ratification document to the ILO,” added Mendoza.
ILO C190 comprehensively defines violence and harassment in the world of work as the “range of unacceptable behaviours and practices, or threats thereof, whether a single occurrence or repeated, that aim at, result in or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm and includes gender-based violence and harassment.” It encompasses both private and public sectors, formal and informal economy, and urban and rural areas as it covers the entire world of work wherein violence and harassment may be occurring in the course of, linked with, or arising out of work. ILO C190 espouses an inclusive, integrated, and gender-responsive approach towards realizing our aspirations of a world free from violence and harassment.
“Regardless if one is in training, a worker whose employment is terminated, a volunteer, job applicant, or an individual exercising the authority, duties, or responsibilities of an employer, among others, ILO C190 protects you. The Philippines’ ratification of ILO C190 underscores that any form of violence, harassment, and abuse has no place in a decent and equitable society such as ours,” emphasized Mendoza.
“When workers live and work under fear of violence and discrimination and quid pro quo workplace sexual harassment—’kapit sa patalim’—amid the survival crisis of joblessness and poor job quality, worker morale and productivity dwindle. Thus, ratifying ILO C190 holistically promotes the welfare of both labor and business. This will be a ‘win-win’ opportunity for both employers and workers as it will upgrade our attractiveness for foreign direct investments (FDIs) because trade instruments, such as the US GSP, EU GSP+, and free trade agreements, are tied to the free and full exercise of labor rights and progressive labor relations in the country. We fervently hope that this will translate to hundreds of thousands of new, permanent, and decent jobs,” underscored Mendoza.
Ratifying ILO C190 now will place the Philippines as one of the first nations to have ratified it in the region and the world. By being one of the trailblazers that first ratified ILO C190, the Philippines will become a model nation that other countries should emulate. Early ratifications would allow other countries to follow suit, ensuring a minimum level of security for the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been vulnerable to abuse and harassment in their respective host countries for all these years.
“By ratifying ILO C190, we sincerely hope that we are inching closer to the end of the long list of abuses, bullying, and brutal killings suffered by our very own land-based and sea-based OFWs, such as the late Jullebee Ranara, Jeanelyn Villavende, and Joana Demapilis, among many others. Through this ratification, we declare to the world that violence and harassment has no place in the world of work in modern society,” emphasized Mendoza.
“Together as one nation, Bagong Pilipinas should breathe life and meaning to the principles of ILO C190 to spearhead our whole-of-society approach in uprooting the long dark history and culture of violence, harassment, and impunity, especially at work, and establishing our nation as a priority investment destination solidified by progressive, worker-centered, and race-to-the-top labor relations,” stated Mendoza.