Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said there is no basis to fear what doomsayers describe as imminent loss of about 200,000 jobs for Filipino workers as a result of the possible Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) withdrawal.
In a statement, Bello said they are confident that the European Commission will find “no valid and convincing reason to withdraw such privileges.”
“We believe we have been compliant with the fundamental requirements and processes for the country to continue enjoying the privileges under the GSP+,” he said on Wednesday.
“We fared well in the country report to the European Commission which provides a scorecard of Philippine compliance with 27 international conventions,” added Bello.
The country report, he said, is an inter-agency effort, where DOLE actively participates in the process of providing updates and factual evidence, particularly on matters pertaining to the observance of labor rights.
Bello also revealed that the Philippines is the only country in the ASEAN that ratified eight fundamental conventions with respect to labor — Freedom of Association and Protection on the Right to Organize Convention, Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, Forced Labor Convention, Abolition of Forced Labor Convention, Minimum Age Convention, Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, Equal Remuneration Convention, and Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention.
“Our government is doing its best to comply with all the EU GSP+ requirements in promoting the welfare of workers,” he said.
Bello said among them are the adoption of measures such as the Occupational Safety and Health Law, Expanded Maternity Benefit Leave, Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment.
“Our government recorded milestones in protecting and promoting the rights and welfare of our workers both locally and overseas,” he said.
“These are just some of the significant policies in support of the labor rights in the country and we will be relentless in this undertaking,” added Bello.
The European Parliament in a resolution called for the revocation of certain tariff benefits given to Philippines over concerns on the alleged deteriorating human rights situation.
SIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTER
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP