Senator Raffy Tulfo said his proposed amendment to include migrant workers’ right to have “access to relevant labor protection information” in the Draft Conclusions of the Committee on Labour Protection of the International Labor Organization (ILO) is gaining support from employers and workers’ groups.
He said his proposal will achieve universal and effective labor protection for all workers.
“This is in line with ILO’s advocacy in this 111th Conference which gets the support of Japan,” Tulfo said.
He defended his amendment before representatives of different countries and shared that said amendment is rooted in his personal experience in his program “Wanted sa Radyo” wherein the relatives of seafarers who asked for help regarding their missing relatives complained that shipowners and authorities of the country investigating the case would not share vital information to them.
Tulfo said his proposal was passed after Japan and workers and employers groups gave it a thumbs up.
Likewise, Tulfo opposed the recommended amendment by an employers’ group to remove limits on employees’ working hours.
Tulfo, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers and Vice Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, did not accept said group’s move to soften the policy on working hours and overtime by merely regulating it instead of providing clear limits and standards.
In expressing his opposition, Tulfo cited the plight of overworked security guards in the Philippines who are often forced to be on duty for up to 20 hours straight without day off.
As a result of this, Tulfo emphasized that a security guard does not have a healthy work-life balance.
Being pressured into accepting excessively lengthy working hours forces them to compromise their time for family and time for their own personal care.
Furthermore, Tulfo said they are already facing health and safety issues which are affecting the quality of their work.
Due to this, he maintained that there should be limitations in the working hours of employees working locally and abroad.
The leader of the labor group agreed to Tulfo’s points, which prompted the employer’s group to withraw and not push through with their amendment.