DISTRESSED OFWS. Distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Kuwait are assisted by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on Tuesday (Jan. 17, 2023). The House of Representatives is urging the Philippine government to immediately ratify International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 190, otherwise known as Violence and Harassment Convention, to better protect OFWs from any form of violence and harassment in their host countries. (Photo courtesy of DMW)

MANILA – The House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling for the immediate ratification of International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 190 which recognizes the right of everyone to a violent-free workplace, including gender-based violence and harassment.

House Resolution No. 650 noted that the Philippines, as a matter of policy, does not condone any form of workplace violence and harassment as shown by existing laws on protection, prevention and laws that penalize violence and harassment in and outside the workplace.

This was concretely expressed when the Philippine delegation to the 108th Session of the International Labor Conference in June 2019, headed by then Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello Ill, voted for the adoption of ILO Convention 190, otherwise known as Violence and Harassment Convention.

“Given the Philippine Government’s commitment and that of the tripartite partners, the ratification of ILO Convention No. 190 is imperative, and the country's advocacy for its ratification by all member-States is made more urgent by the fact that our overseas Filipino workers, land-based and sea-based, need protection from any form of violence and harassment in the host country,” the resolution read.

ILO Convention 190 defines violence and harassment in the world of work as “a range of unacceptable behavior and practices, or threat thereof, whether by a single or repeated occurrence, that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic 21 harm and gender-based violence and harassment.”

“Considering that the Philippines has already adopted ILO Convention No. 190 in June, 2019, and that there is an urgent need to provide the appropriate and necessary protection to Filipino workers, especially those working abroad, it is incumbent upon the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Foreign Affairs to urge President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. to confirm ILO Convention No. 190, and the Philippine Senate to ratify it,” HR 650 said.

“It is hereby resolved that the House of Representatives call for the immediate ratification by the Philippine Government of ILO Convention No. 190,” the resolution read.

HR 650 is a consolidation of House Resolutions 32, 85 and 271 authored by TUCP Partylist Representative Raymond Democrito Mendoza; Pangasinan 3rd District Rep. Ma. Rachel Arenas; and Reps. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela Partylist), France Castro (ACT-Teachers Partylist) and Raoul Danniel Manuel (Kabataan Partylist), respectively. (PNA)