/ 28 January 2023

ABOLISHING the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, stopping the implementation of counter-insurgency campaigns and halting the interference of the police, military and other civilian government agencies in the union processes were among the recommendations given by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers to the International Labor Organization High Level Tripartite Mission to protect trade union rights in the Philippines.

The group also recommended the effective delivery of justice to all victims of violations of freedom of association, grant of appropriate reparation to victims and their families, and passing legislation to allow public teachers and workers to hold peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike.

The ILO mission was in the Philippines for four days to gather inputs from various sectors.

The ACT also recommended the passing of a law that will criminalize red-tagging and the provision of legal assistance and protection from reprisal to victims of attacks on teachers’ and union rights.

It also wanted the United Nations Human Rights Council and the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Education and on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression to conduct independent investigations on the situation of teachers and educator in the Philippines.

“Our teachers and workers are expectant that the ILO-HLTM will take positive actions on our cases and forward compelling recommendations to the Philippines government to finally end the systemic and systematic violations of freedom of association,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

“While we intensify our struggle to defend our rights locally, we hope to get the support of international bodies to make the Philippine government account for its violation of labor rights and neglect of workers’ welfare,” he added.