Region 2 of the Department of Labor has commended Secretary Silvestre Bello III for winning the ‘Natatanging Cagayano Award’ for the Dangal ng Lahing Cagayano 2021.
Bello, whose his roots are from Gattaran, Cagayan and Ilagan City, Isabela, has been the DOLE’s Secretary since 2016, contributing to the promotion and protection of workers’ rights and the attainment of decent employment in the Cagayan Valley Region, and the country as a whole, through his leadership in the implementation of DOLE’s varied programs and services.
The commendation coincided with reports Sunday that Bello said he was set to take on the challenge of heading a group representing both the powerful and the small governments of the world in the International Labor Organization.
“I think all previous labor secretaries had wished of getting elected chairman of the ILO group. Our chairmanship this year is unprecedented, the first in the history of the century-old ILO,” Bello said in a statement.
“This is why I am inclined to actively assume the role and take on the challenge of leading the ILO body,” Bello added.
The Philippines has just recently assumed the chairmanship of the powerful Government Group of the global labor standards-setting ILO headquartered in Geneva. This position has put the country as “first among unequals,” according to Labor Attaché Cheryl Daytec, who heads the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Switzerland.
“Our new leadership role as Chair of the Government Group of the ILO’s Government Body gives us a ‘primus’ position among ILO Member States. For the record, in the 102 years of the ILO existence, this is the first time that an observer country is the Government Group Chair,” Daytec said in a statement.
In 2020, Bello led the provision of the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) assistance for pandemic-affected formal sector workers, the first emergency assistance of its kind created since the implementation of community quarantine in March of last year.
During the massive flooding caused by typhoons in Cagayan and Isabela provinces last year, Bello again stood in the forefront of the provision of assistance to displaced workers, pouring assistance through the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program to more than 20,000 informal sector workers affected by the flooding.
To assist in the peace and development efforts and in keeping with his role as the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS), Bello has recently earmarked a total of P50M worth of DOLE livelihood funds that shall be poured to the 100 influenced barangays in Region 2 to contribute to the goal of ending local communist armed conflict.
She added, “Not all ILO member States are equal. Presently, the ILO has 187 Member States. In the Governing Body, these states are categorized into non-elective titular/regular members, elected titular or regular members, elected deputy members, and observers.”
“The chairing role will benefit from the rich experience of Secretary Bello’s as a peace negotiator for three decades,” she said.
Daytec said international labor standards and policies are the product of social dialogues between and among the three parties in the ILO tripartite system: the Workers’ Group, the Employers’ Group, and the Government Group.