DESPITE being among the “voiceless” member-states, the Philippines was able to secure a key post in the International Labor Organization (ILO), according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III disclosed that the Philippines has been elected as vice chair of the Government Group of the ILO, with the chairmanship post awaiting in 2021 when the country’s term as vice chair expires.
“I congratulate the Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations and our Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Geneva for judiciously pursuing our country’s long quest for a substantial seat in the ILO,” Bello said.
“This milestone, I believe, gives hope to countries that have no voice and no vote in the ILO,” he added.
Bello is referring to the fact that it is the first time in the 100 years of the ILO that an “observer nation” has been elected as vice chair of its Government Group.
“This feat is the dawning of a new hope for the voiceless in the ILO,” said the labor chief.
“The Philippines, long consigned to an observer status, could now play a pivotal role in the clamor for equality by smaller countries, especially those from Africa, Asia, and others,” added Bello.
To note, the ILO is comprised of titular member states, deputy member states, and observer states.
The first two have speaking rights, although only the titular member states have the right to vote; while the observer nations have neither speaking nor voting rights.
The ILO is the United Nations’ oldest specialized agency after it was founded in 1919.