MANILA – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said it is all set to secure top labor officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and other participants to the 27th Asean Labor Ministers’ Meeting (ALMM) and Related Meetings.

In a statement Wednesday, NCRPO chief Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo said some 800 police personnel and members of other law enforcement units and force multipliers were deployed to ensure peace and order during the event at the Shangri La Hotel, The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City from Tuesday to Saturday.

Estomo, meanwhile, advised motorists to check the social media platforms of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority for possible traffic re-routing schemes on roads surrounding the venue.

"Our unified goal is to provide the Asean Labor Ministers and participants with the safest and convenient venue, billet, area, tours and route during their stay in Metro Manila. Guaranteed that our police officers are seen, felt, and perform tasks extraordinarily in order for us to gain the trust and appreciation of the delegates while they are in our country," he added.

The meeting will focus on ways to protect migrant workers through collaboration, the topic of getting past the pandemic, and other advancements for the promotion of digitalized, inclusive, and sustainable recovery and growth for workers.

Senior labor officials from the 10 Asean member states -- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines -- and three dialogue partners China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to attend the event.

On Tuesday, Labor Undersecretary Benedicto Ernesto Bitonio Jr. welcomed the delegates of the 18th Senior Labor Officials’ Meeting (SLOM), as the country assumed chairmanship of the meeting from Indonesia.

He accepted the role on behalf of the Philippines and conveyed Manila's commitment to continuously address the lingering effects of coronavirus disease 2019 and the transformations in today’s world of work.

“We meet today high in expectation, commitment, and resolve to continue strengthening the socio-cultural pillar of regional cooperation through innovative, technology-driven, and sustainable measures that will enable workers and businesses to grow and prosper in line with the goal of decent work and inclusive growth for all,” Bitonio said in his address before senior labor officials from other countries.

Outgoing chairperson and Indonesian Ministry of Manpower Secretary General Dr. Anwar Sanusi expressed confidence that the working group can continue to serve as a platform to foster cooperation and contribute to the region’s post-pandemic recovery efforts under the Philippine leadership.

“We passed the SLOM chairmanship baton to the Philippines. I believe under [its leadership], we can accelerate our efforts to realize our ambition of an inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and dynamic Asean community,” Sanusi said.

The senior labor officials are meeting physically after two years of virtual meetings due to the pandemic.

Aside from updates on the labor and employment programs in the region, also high on the agenda of the meeting are programs on technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Meanwhile, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Deputy Director-General Rosanna Urdaneta said the nation’s commitment to the Asean in terms of TVET include strengthening labor market orientation of TVET, enhancing capacity of TVET human resource, and increasing demand for TVET-related jobs, among others.

The Philippines is also the inaugural chair of the Asean TVET Council (ATC), established to promote competitive human resource, market-responsive skills, greater employment opportunities, and higher productivity in the digital economy through technical and vocational education and training. (PNA)