Jun 012013
The Department of Labor and Employment is pushing for a “social protection floor,” or a basic set of protection measures, for workers in the informal sector.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the informal sector includes the underemployed, self-employed, and unpaid family workers in five priority occupational groups.

“Social protection is integral to achieving a better and improved quality of life for the workers in the informal sectors by equalizing access to development opportunities and by reducing vulnerabilities of these workers and their families against risks, particularly in times of crisis, that can push them down to poverty,” she said.

“The DOLE, in convergence with other agencies, is looking at the underemployed, self-employed, and unpaid family workers who are a big part of the informal sector and who constitute workers in vulnerable employment,” she added.

She added the social protection floor provides a set of guarantees, “either universal or targeted and contributory or non-contributory.”

The DOLE plans to hold a Strategic Planning Workshop this June to develop a results-based project monitoring evaluation system for the social protection floor (SPF) system for informal sector workers.

Expected to attend the workshop are representatives from government agencies and informal sector groups.

Baldoz said the workshop is part of the Labor Day Celebration for Informal Sector Workers, to be held Occupational Safety and Health Center’s Ichikawa Hall in Quezon City on May 30.

The DOLE said the Philippines was among the International Labor Organization’s member states that adopted in June 2011 the ILO recommendation on National Floors of Social Protection.

The ILO recommendation aims to prevent or alleviate poverty, vulnerability, and social exclusion.

SPF system

The DOLE said the SPF system includes guarantees of access to:

– essential health services
– income support for children for education, health, and nutrition
– income assistance for economically active groups who do not have sufficient earnings in case of contingencies
– financial support for elderly population

Baldoz said the DOLE identified five vulnerable occupational groups that may benefit from an SPF:

– farmers, forestry workers, and fishermen constituting 4.786 million workers
– laborers and unskilled workers totaling some 4.388 million workers
– service workers and shop market sales workers constituting 1.071 million workers
– trade and related workers which has 608,000 workers
– drivers which has 396,000 workers.

Baldoz said the SPF system is part of the objectives of the Enhanced Social Protection Operational Framework and Strategy of the Philippines, which identified four core programs where interventions include:

– social insurance
– labor market interventions
– social safety nets
– social welfare

— LBG, GMA News

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