The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) leadership related to the Pakistani delegation – who is on a study tour to the Philippines – that employers are for liberalizing the labor market to attune it to the demands of globalization.
ECOP President Edgardo G. Lacson said liberalizing the labor market as well as easing labor policies will spur employment opportunities even for homeworkers.
The Pakistani delegation came over to the Philippines from Nov. 29 to augment national efforts to support home-based workers (HBW). They sought to find out best practices in the Philippines and discuss key lessons for replication in Pakistan. According to the delegation, they are also interested to know how home workers can eventually become part of the formal sector.
The delegation, a mixture of various stakeholders, includes S.M. Mustafain Kazmi, Joint Secretary, MoL, Islamabad; Muhammad Javaid Iqbal, Central Labour Adviser, MoL, Islamabad; Muhammad Naseer Jamali, Secretary DOL, Sindh, Karachi; U.R. Usmani, Chief Operating Officer, Singer Pakistan Karachi; Zafar Iqbal Gondal, Chairman, FOBI, Karachi; Muhammad Ahmed, Chairman, PWF, Karachi; Umme Laila Azhar, Executive Direcor, Home Net Pakistan, Lahore; Abdur Rauf Khan, Secretary Labour, DoL Punjab, Lahore; Arshid Mehmood Mirza, Executive Director Baidari, Sialkot; Asma Ravji, Manager Enterprise Development Program, Sungi, Islamabad; Shahrukh Arbab, Secretary, Labour Department, GoKP, Peshawar; Haider Ali Shikoh, Secretary, Labour Department, GoB, Quetta; and Manzoor Khaliq, SPO, ILO Islamabad.
Currently, Pakistan has neither adopted ILO Convention No. 177 nor it has a policy on home-based workers. ILO Convention No. 177 calls upon member-countries to adopt, implement, and periodically review a national policy on home work aimed at improving the situation of homeworkers, in consultation with the most representative organization of employers and workers and, where they exist, with organizations concerned with homeworkers and those of employers of home workers.
In recent past, various civil society organizations (supported by ILO & UNIFEM) have jointly carried out consultations and draft a National Policy on home-based workers which was routed through the Ministry of Women Development and now with the Ministry of Labour and Manpower for final endorsement.
During the discussions, ECOP Director General Vicente Leogardo, Jr. dwelled on the profile of ECOP as well as issues on home workers in the Philippines.
It is estimated that there are about 7 million to 9 million hone-based workers in the Philippines doing both piece-rated and own account work in rural and urban areas. Like many others working in the informal economy, they suffer from invisibility, poor working and living conditions, lack of resources and social protection. Most piece-rated workers are subcontracted workers also known in law as industrial homeworkers.