House panel bats PH ratification of ILO Convention 190 on gender-based harassment

The House of Representatives Committee on Labor and Employment, under its chairman 1-Pacman Partylist Rep. Enrico Pineda, approved a House resolution calling for the ratification by the country of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 190 (Violence and Harassment Convention, 2919) on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The Lower House committee discussed House Resolution No. 1167 which was entitled, "A Resolution Calling for the Immediate Ratification by the Philippine Government of the International Labor Organization Convention No. 190, Otherwise Known as Violence and Harassment Convention, 2919 (No. 190)" and it was adopted by the committee members present.

The House resolution was filed by TUCP Partylist Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza and was backed by HR 1404 sponsored by Makabayan bloc leaders Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas, Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat and Ferdinand Gaite, ACTS Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro, and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago.

"ILO Convention 190 also correctly acknowledges that gender-based violence and harassment disproportionately affects women and girls, who are subjected to patriarchal gender stereotypes and norms in various socio-cultural settings. For us in Gabriela Women’s Party, this is very important in putting emphasis and concern on sexual violence and harassment committed against women workers on the premise of power relations and dynamics at work," Brosas said in her sponsorship speech of HR 1404.

"Mr. Chair, ILO Convention 190 will provide an enabling and comprehensive framework in addressing sexual harassment and abuse cases at work, and will provide the impetus for the crafting of necessary national policies that will further protect women and LGBTQIA+ in the workforce. Thus, we hope the committee will adopt our Resolution and support the growing clamor for the ratification of Convention 190." ILO Convention No. 190 is the first international treaty to recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment.

The Convention was adopted in June 2019 by the ILO and enforced last June 25 this year.

Countries who have ratified and committed support to the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 are Argentina, Ecuador, Fiji, Finland, Namibia, Somalia, Spain and Uruguay. The ratifying countries are legally bound by the provisions of the Convention a year after ratification.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), represented by DOLE Undersecretary Benjo Santos Benavidez in the said hearing, gave its approval for the adoption of the resolution and called for a consultation with all stakeholders.

Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) Vice President and Women's Committee Head Eva Arcos also gave their support to the said resolution. (Melvin Sarangay)