Jul 10, 2010

New Labor chief pushes for worker protection, social dialogue

New Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz expressed her intention to promote worker protection and social dialogue between employers and trade unions.

During the turnover rites at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) earlier this week, Baldoz said the priority goals of the Aquino administration include the promotion of workers’ rights and industrial peace.

She vowed to address the concerns of local workers and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) such as skills-job mismatch, lack of employment opportunities, illegal recruitment, and trafficking in women and children.

“President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III is correct in saying that the people are our real bosses," she said as she took over the post from her predecessor Marianito Roque, who has returned to the private sector.

Baldoz has extensive experience in labor relations, management, and international labor migration.

Her previous posts include: Mediator-Arbiter of the DOLE’s Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR); Labor Arbiter of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC); Executive Director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), and Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Baldoz says the POEA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) must enhance their services in coordination with the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

She noted the need for skills upgrading to lessen the vulnerabilities of OFWs. “We shall expand our Filipino Workers Resource Centers (FWRCs) in host destinations," she says.

“Every distressed overseas worker must be given every possible assistance until they are fully reintegrated with their families at their residence," she adds.

For local workers, Baldoz pledged to continue DOLE’s “Project Jobs Fit" which teaches people how to search for jobs, solve the skills-jobs mismatch, and increase their employability.

“Our labor market information (LMI) system must be linked with the rest of the electronic job sources available, and disseminated to the community and barangay levels," she said. –VVP, GMANews.TV

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