MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino urged labor ministers of different countries to ensure that Filipino workers abroad are treated with dignity, as well as workers from other countries.
In his speech during the Abu Dhabi Dialogue among labor ministers, Aquino noted that 60% of Filipinos working abroad and 12% of all migrant workers are stationed in countries, who were represented in the meeting.
“Suffice it to say: We all have a significant stake in this; and our discussions today will affect the lives of tens of millions of our people, at the very least, perhaps even more,” Aquino said.
“What all of us want is clear: we want recruitment for our people to be both fair and efficient; we want workers to be treated with dignity; and we want to be able to go back home in a convenient manner, and to be successfully reintegrated in our respective societies. In other words, the idea behind our meeting today is to make sure of one thing: that the people do indeed come first.”
Aquino said that his administration’s objective is to attract more investments and create jobs here so that Filipinos would not be forced to look for work abroad.
“Our reform efforts are focused on attracting more investments, creating more jobs and giving our countrymen reason to believe that a good life awaits them here, at home. In this regard, we have been quite successful. Investors are regaining their confidence and putting up more and more businesses here; and if we build on our momentum, I think we can achieve our dream of keeping more of our countrymen here,” he said.
The Abu Dhabi Dialogue is a regional consultation composed of Asian countries of labor origin and destination, including the Colombo Process countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam) and 9 more countries of migrant worker destinations (Bahrain, Kuwait Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen).
Part of the discussions would be the adoption of the 2012 Framework of Regional Collaboration of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, which would include a pledge to “respond effectively to problems inside and outside workplaces by improving inspection and enforcement of labor standards, laws, and adopt specific protocols for resolving most common problems/ disputes.”