Published by cedric Date posted on April 19, 2019


28 November 2018 — Participants in the National Trade Union Center (NTUC Philippines) one-day workshop on “Strengthening the Campaign for an ILO Convention and Planning Enterprise Level Campaigns on GBV in the World of Work” in Quezon City on 21 November 2018, identified and  pledged to push wide-ranging activities against gender-based violence (GBV) at work. [Read more.]

The workshop looked at what TUCP/NTUC Phl has done, what more needs to be done, and what specific actions are required to advance enterprise-level GBV actions.

The ITUC-AP Philippine Steering Committee (PSC) on GBV at the Workplace, composed of ITUC-AP affiliates in the Philippines, had implemented in 2017-2018 a joint campaign in preparation and support for worldwide action for the adoption of an ILO Convention and Recommendation on GBV in the World of Work.  The second discussion on the proposed Convention will take place at the International Labor Conference in June 2019.

This activity represents the second in a series in Part 2 of this joint campaign to (1) strengthen the campaign in preparation for the June 2019 ILC discussions and voting on GBV, (2) to engage employers and government to ensure that they support the appropriate ILO instrument, to ratify the same, and (3) to initiate and sustain activities at the enterprise level to prevent GBV at work and extend services to GBV victims. The joint one-day review and planning program for leaders and advocates  for the three affiliates was done in 23 October 2018.

There were 14 participants (six women, eight men) from eight federations and three resource/facilitation persons (two women) in the workhop. PSC Chair and TUCP/NTUC Phl Women Chair Florencia Cabatingan and Honorary NTUC Phl General Secretary Cedric Bagtas facilitated the one-day program.

The NTUC Campaign/ILO Convention and Recommendation on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work 

What we have done? What else needs to be done?

The workshop reviewed what have been done under Part 1 of the joint campaign.  The trade union campaign activities had led to the Philippine government changing its position from an ILO Recommendation to an ILO Convention in the June 2018 International Labor Conference.

There has been no similar progress with Philippine employers, with employers opting not to send resource persons to trade union workshops.

The initial success need to be sustained to ensure that the government holds fast to its Convention position and for employers to be drawn to engage at least in the discussion process.

Sustainable Development Goals and Women in the Future of Work: What’s GBV got to do with it? 

Honorary NTUC Phl General Secretary Cedric Bagtas led the discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Women in the Future of Work.

The discussions highlighted the participative HLPFs (high-level political forums) and VNRs (voluntary national report) mechanisms for monitoring action and progress on the SDGs; and the need for proactive trade union action, including assertive initiatives at the national level..

There were discussions, too, on An Initial List of Philippine SDG Indicators (Only for Goal 5: Gender Equality), which noted that the indicators appear not sufficient to reflect trade unions’ aspirations on GBV (no indicators on violence at work), much less on Gender Equality.

He stressed the need for trade union leading actions, otherwise there could be much under-delivery and disappointments given the raised expectations.

The Group Work discussions on — (1) Enterprise level campaign plans in support of an ILO Convention and Recommendation on Violence and Recommendation on Violence and Harassment Against Women and Men in the World of Work; and (2) Developing enterprise-level plans and activities for tracking harassment and violence at work and support victims – arrived at the following conclusions and recommendations:

  1. On Strengthening the campaign for an ILO Convention, accompanied by a Recommendation

Participants noted information dissemination and awareness programs are needed before a wide-ranging campaign for (1) Engaging enterprises and unions, (2) Engaging family, friends, (3) Engaging the community (Engaging the public).

Traditional media, broadsheets, radio, TV, need to be better engaged in the campaign;they have wider reach than social media which are limited to one’s ‘friends’.

Social media, chat groups, are good for like-minded groups and have apps (applications) which could be tapped for calls to action.

The range of preparation for effective implementation is wide:Simplifying GBV materials; looking for appropriate among many GBV videos; summarized GBV research and reports for better appreciation by different kinds of audience, including workers and union members; GBV forums for directed dissemination of information; an inventory of gender laws, regulations, issuances, and ordinances for parallel advocacy and campaigns even without a Convention or even prior to ratification.

Advocacy for inclusion of questions regarding GBV at work in the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) inspection checklist should be among the targets for focused representations.

  1. Towards an intra-enterprise mechanism vs GBV

There are existing mechanisms at the enterprise level which could be used for GBV at work interventions: CODIs (vs. sexual harassment), Safety and health committees, Labor-management consultations/committees, Grievance mechanism in the CBA (collective agreements), Town hall meeting, Anti-bullying mechanism (in schools).

These could be tapped or adapted and modified or negotiated in partnership with high-level officers or HR (human resources) offices of enterprises. Joint work is preferably better expressed in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

MOAs could contain GBV activities as part of management services, funded activities, on official time.

MOAs could agree on next steps towards preparation of a company manual of procedure for preventive actions and for instances when a victim reports and seeks help.

MOAs could provide suggested actions for

First responders – line/team leaders, shop stewards, officers

  • Company mechanisms that could be developed for focused interventions, like (1) What prevention services for victims; and (2) What assistance services for victims: (Medical services; Counseling, psychological services; Support, financial; Legal assistance).



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