COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Stakeholders have approved a draft regional labor code pending in parliament in Bangsamoro, intended in part to bolster the socio-economic goals of the Mindanao peace process.
Cross-cutting support for the measure, proposed by Bangsamoro member of parliament Romeo Sema, began to mount this week after a regional labor summit here five days before where the bill was discussed.
Supporters of the proposed Bangsamoro Labor and Employment Code, or BLEC, include Philippine Trades Union Congress representative Raymond Democrito Mendoza, Chinese business groups and elected officials from five provinces in the autonomous region. — Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Mendoza said on Saturday that they can help spread BLEC to indigenous Muslim, Christian and non-Moro communities in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and observe its application once approved by the 80-member BARMM parliament.
Major Chinese business blocs in BARMM had also expressed favor for the enactment of regional edicts, by the BARMM parliament, BLEC and a separate but related measure, the region’s proposed Magna Carta for the economy. informal.
Representatives of the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency, also attended the two-day Bangsamoro regional summit last week here.
Khalid Hassan, Country Director of the ILO in the Philippines, then spoke about the need to prevent child labour, a serious problem that afflicts many countries.
ILO Project Manager Jennylyn Aguinaldo and senior officials from the Ministry of Labor and Employment-BARMM were also present at the labor summit.
The ILO and MOLE-BARMM jointly launched after the summit a training manual on child labour, a compilation of laws, policies and programs to address the problem.
The manual was produced with the support of the Japanese government.
Participants at last week’s regional labor summit here told reporters they would help advance joint efforts against child labor by the MOLE-BARMM government and the ILO.
The ILO and MOLE-BARMM will cooperate to activate a pool of “focal persons” who will oversee various programs aimed at ending good child labor in the Bangsamoro region.