More than 200 workers in the informal sector consisting of representatives from the different workers and advocate groups participated in the Workers in the Informal Economy (WIE) Labor Day Celebration last May 18, 2016 at the Occupational Safety and Health Center in Quezon City.

The annual celebration is pursuant to Proclamation No. 1215 dated April 30, 1998 which aims to recognize the exemplar economic and social contributions of the WIE to the country.

The event was highlighted by sharing of stories and testimonials of selected worker-leaders and advocates from the informal economy sector about their experiences on the current challenges. They also gave recommendations on how the government can contribute to the overall improvement on their socio-economic conditions towards the goal of transitioning them to the formal economy.

“Atin pong pakatandaan na kayo, kayong mga manggagawang Pilipino ang pangunahing dahilan kung bakit naririto ang DOLE. Kayo po ang aming inspirasyon sa patuloy naming pagpupursigi upang maihatid ang mga nararapat at makabuluhang programa at serbisyo. Naniniwala kami na ang ating mga manggagawa ay may kakayahan na lumikha ng yaman tungo sa pag-unlad ng ating bayan, at di maglalaon ay makakamit din nating lahat tungo sa ating tinatamasang pag-ahon sa kahirapan”, said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.

Baldoz also commended the WIE who actively participated in the celebration and the BWSC for facilitating the event.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa DOLE sa pagbigay pansin sa aming hanay, sa pagbibigay ng mga kasanayan upang mapaunlad ang aming hanap-buhay at sa pagpapalawig ng mga proteksyon sa aming mga informal na mangagawa”, Mr. Vicente Macabuhay of Pangkat Mangagawa sa Konstraksyon responded.

“Patuloy nating pagyamanin ang ating kaalaman tungo sa maunlad at disenteng hanap-buhay! Dahil sa tulong ng ibat-ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan sa aming sektor ay unti-unti na naming nararamdaman ang pag unlad”, Ms. Rosalina Funtanares, NAPC-WISC Sectoral Representative further said.

Moreover, this activity also served as a venue for the commitment setting between the government and the WIE. The DOLE and representatives from WIE inked a formal declaration to promote the welfare and decent work agenda of WIE for the next administration.

BWSC Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba presented the results of Assessment Based National Dialogue (ABND) towards Social Protection Floor (SPF). She stressed in her presentation the ABND recommendations that are primarily beneficial for the WIE. These are possible 30% PhilHealth subsidy for vulnerable informal workers; expanded benefits and eligibility requirements under CCT; 30% SSS premium subsidy for informal sector workers; and one stop shop program and services on social protection.

Moreover, there were SSS, PAG-IBIG, PhilHealth and DOH booths which provided/disseminated information and communication materials that promote the developmental needs and welfare of the WIE.

Furthermore, to provide relevant and updated information on the productivity and safety concerns of the WIE, Ms. Maria Rosa Opis of NWPC and Mr. Rey Jose Soriano of OSHC gave short orientations on Productivity, and Occupational Safety and Health, respectively. Likewise, TESDA representatives provided free massage services during the activity.

For the culminating activity, participants danced the Zumba craze.


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