ILOILO CITY-- Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has cited the crucial need to tackle the status of migrant workers during the ongoing top-level meetings of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council and the Senior Officials Committee for the ASCC (SOCA) here Tuesday.
"It is crucial to discuss the status of migrant workers in the different member states of the ASEAN and to ascertain their conditions. As one community, we should work together to ensure that all our citizens working in other member states are protected, and their labor rights recognized and respected," said Taguiwalo.
She added that collective efforts are needed in the ASEAN to support reforms that will enable migrant workers to find safe, legal, and decent work and to work in dignity and with the support, not only of the government of their home countries, but also of the government of their host countries.
The plight of migrant workers, she said, is one of the many urgent concerns that ASEAN member states should address due to its direct impact and effect on the welfare of ordinary working citizens of all countries.
"Because of poverty and lack of employment opportunities, our citizens leave our countries to find work overseas -- and many stay within the boundaries of the ASEAN," she said.
The social welfare chief said the protection of all migrant workers is under the ASCC pillar.
ASCC is the heart of ASEAN and is instrumental in realizing a regional community that is people-oriented and socially responsible, with a view to achieving enduring solidarity and unity among the peoples and member states of the organization.
As head of the ASCC pillar, the DSWD is leading the discussions on issues confronting the marginalized, disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors as part of enhancing their lives and finding solutions to problems affecting them.
The Philippines chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit during the regional grouping's 50th founding anniversary this year. ASEAN 2017 carries the theme, "Partnering for change, engaging the world".
Source: Philippines News Agency