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PIA Press Release

Re-balance growth through decent work, ITUCP-AP urges ADB

by Martin Mercado Gamba

Manila (23 October) -- Philippine ITUC-AP affiliates, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and Federation of Free Workers (FFW) handed over the WDDW Call to Action for Decent Work, Decent Life and the ITUC- Statement "Re-balancing Growth through Decent Work" to the Asian Development Bank represented by Mr. Bart Édes, Director on Poverty Reduction, Gender, and Social Development Division, Regional and Sustainable Development Department.

The ITUC and ITUC-AP delegates were TUCP Vice President Alejandro C. Villaviza, and FFW President Allan Montaño, TUCP Women Director Florencia Cabatingan and Education and Youth Director Rafael Mapalo.

Call to action

Atty. Villaviza explained the objectives of the WDDW Campaign and highlighted the Call to Action's eight key demands --protection of fundamental labor rights; changing unfair trade rules and reforming the World Bank and the IMF; improving the situation of women and men working in the informal economy; providing social protection to the majority of the world's population who live without it; increasing development assistance; and ratifying and implementing the UN and ILO conventions around the protection of migrant workers and their families.

He noted that the TUCP and unions all over the world have done many activities highlighting the Call to Action to rally support and encourage stakeholders, especially decision-makers to put into operation the eight key demands.

Re-balancing growth through decent work

Atty. Montaño acknowledged that the Asian Development Bank has been an important institution which supports regional and national economic development. Quoting from the ITUC-AP Statement, he conveyed that the "ITUC-AP supports the governments' massive stimulus programmes and strong assistance by the ADB to developing countries. The ITUC-AP strongly hopes that the region will recover from the crisis soon, and such a process should be guided by a new development principle, "Rebalancing Growth through Decent Work."

The ADB and trade unions share broad areas of common concern -- economic development, poverty eradication, establishment of social infra-structures, education, gender equality, employment promotion, skill development, building a strong financial architecture in the region, among other things, where trade unions can work together with the ADB in the region and nationally.

He reiterated that "ITUC-AP is pleased to note that the ADB has been recently paying more attention to social dimension of its operation as clearly indicated by Handbook on Core Labour Standards, Primer on Interacting with Workers' Organisation, Social Protection Index and other policy documents."

On the World Day for Decent Work, he conveyed ITUC-AP's General Secretary Noriyuki Suzuki's steadfast hope that the ADB will further include Decent Work concept in its operations in the region and country consultations.

Director Cabatingan pushed that gender equality be given more serious consideration. She said: "Gender equality is the core of decent work."

ADB response

Director Édes thanked the ITUC-AP for sharing the Statement on WDDW titled "Re-balancing Growth through Decent Work". He noted: "Your call for rebalancing growth through decent work comes at a time when the region has been coping with the negative social impacts of the global economic slowdown, including the loss of millions of jobs."

Furthermore, he reported that the regional outlook remains uncertain. In particular, a protracted global slowdown will delay the region's full recovery. It is unlikely that the region can revert to its long-term growth potential without the support of a firm global rebound. In the longer term, the key challenge for developing Asia will be to enhance resilience to external shocks. It can do so through policies aimed at broadening the scope and structure of the region's openness and strengthening national systems that support human development. Practical steps include fostering intra-regional trade, managing financial globalization, maximizing the benefits of labor mobility, health and social protection.

He said: "We believe that creating the conditions for goods jobs and social protection programs for those unable to find decent work is an urgent priority for governments in Asia and the Pacific."

"The ABD welcomes consultation and social dialogue with trade unions and the civil society in the banks programs on poverty reduction, gender, social development and sustainable development."

He urged the delegates to read the proceedings of the recently-concluded "Conference on Global Financial Crisis: Impacts, Lessons and Growth Rebalancing" for information and knowledge sharing. (TUCP/PIA-Surigao del Norte) [top]

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