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Labor group hails appointment of new Labor Chief

The Federation of Free Workers (FFW), the oldest labor federation in the country has hailed the appointment of Rosalinda Baldoz as Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“In behalf of the entire family of the FFW, I congratulate the newly-named Secretary of the DOLE, Hon. Rosalinda Baldoz,” said Allan Montaño, FFW National President.

Baldoz’s appointment and those of the rest of the cabinet was announced by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III himself in a press conference on the eve of his oath-taking as the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Experienced and dedicated

“Sec. Baldoz has a very extensive experience in handling important agencies of the DOLE,” added Montaño.

Baldoz has served as Undersecretary of the Labor Department since 2008, taking charge of the labor relations cluster for almost a year now. She first made her mark as one of the longest-serving Administrators of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, heading the DOLE attached agency since 2001. She replaces Sec. Marianito Roque.

“She is hardworking and dedicated,” said the FFW President, who has seen Baldoz work up close and personal.

Int’l Labor Confab delegates

Both were part of the tripartite Philippine delegation this year to the International Labor Conference (ILC) held in Geneva, with Baldoz acting as government delegate and Montaño representing the workers.

The Philippine delegation voted in favor of a new Convention for domestic workers at the ILC, which if adopted next year will be a landmark international agreement that will benefit many Filipinos employed as household service workers.

Last year, Montaño addressed the ILC in Geneva right before Baldoz, who formally declared that the Philippine government is accepting the International Labor Organization (ILO) Mission to the Philippines. That Mission wanted to look into complaints of violations of ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and the Right of Bargain Collectively.

The acceptance of the Mission has led to the crafting of a Technical Cooperation Project with the ILO that will help the country improve its implementation of laws on the right of workers to organize into unions.

No honeymoon

In a television interview, Baldoz admitted expressing surprise at the appointment since she does not even personally know the new President.

Nonetheless, no honeymoon stage is expected between the new Labor Chief, DOLE’s social partners from employers and workers and possible detractors. As a DOLE insider, she is already familiar with how the Department works and could easily buckle down to work.

“But, certainly, she needs the cooperation and support of all sectors, including the Department’s personnel,” said Montaño.

Support for P.Noy

Montaño also sent his well wishes to the new President.

“In behalf of the entire family of the FFW, I congratulate the new President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III,” Montaño said.

He called on his compatriots for support.

“Pres. Noynoy is facing enormous challenges that demand serious attention. He needs the support and cooperation of all sectors. We enjoin everyone to pray that he and the whole nation overcome these challenges. His success will be the success of every Filipino, too,” Montaño said.

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