PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

LABOR Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III called on the Philippine government to fast-track the ratification of the 1986 instrument that amends the constitution of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which he currently chairs.   

Mr. Bello said the Philippines must take the lead in approving the instrument that will give speaking and voting rights to more state members of the ILO governing body.   

“I am convinced that the Philippines’ non-ratification is just a case of oversight rather than a deliberate rejection of the Amendment,” Mr. Bello said in a statement on Sunday.   

He added that the Philippines has accepted and ratified many other key ILO conventions in the recent years, “this is why I believe our government can act swiftly on it.”   

In a press conference last July 10, Philippine Labor attaché to Geneva Cheryl D. Yañgot, where the headquarters of the ILO is located, said the Labor department had already coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the country’s ratification of the amendment.   

Under Executive Order 459, the DFA serves as the lead agency in guiding the president in such ratifications, which is subject to the Senate’s concurrence.   

Mr. Bello assumed the top position in the organization that sets the global labor standards in July 2021.   

He said one of his top priorities during his one-year term is to a push for the amendment that will increase the voting membership in the ILO and abolish the “seeming permanent status of 10 members of chief industrial countries” to take effect.   

At present, out of 187 member states of the ILO, only 28 have voting and speaking rights, another 28 have only speaking rights, and the rest “are mere observers with neither voting and speaking rights, including the Philippines.” — Bianca Angelica D. Añago