Four staff from the different divisions of UP ISSI, upon the invitation of UP Diliman Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, Dr. Fidel R. Nemenzo, attended the half-day Research Forum on Filipino Women Workers in Manufacturing and Retail Trade Industry last 15 February 2018 at the Benitez Theatre, College of Education, UP Diliman.
The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the forum organizer, supported a study on
women workers in the National Capital Region and Region IV-A CALABARZON entitled The Condition of Filipino Women Workers in Manufacturing and Service (Retail Trade) Sectors: A Preliminary Research Advocacy. The forum aimed to “provide necessary updated situation and deeper analysis on the issues concerning women workers through presentation of consolidated data and case study. The research has also formulated recommendations that could be considered by various agencies for its program and policy implementation.” The research collated anecdotal accounts of women workers in the manufacturing and retail industries, detailing prevalent abuses against women in the workplace and the victims’ enduring silence. The research team proposed massive education campaign and other women’s rights advocacies to address these concerns. Hiring of more labor law compliance officers and unannounced inspections and assessments of business establishments were also recommended by the research team, which were concurred by the panelists from the government and civil society organizations. Another recommendation put forward by the research is the promotion of entrepreneurship as an alternative mode of employment to low-skilled, low-waged jobs provided to the women in the study.
Engr. Ma. Luisa Solarte-Lee and Ms. Nova Z. Navo from the Director’s Office, Ms. Sendy delos Reyes from the Training and Entrepreneurship Education Division, and Ms. Jocelle P. Mamaril from the Information and Public Affairs Office attended the forum as UP ISSI representatives. Other attendees include representatives from government agencies (Commission on Human Rights, Department of Labor and Employment, Occupational Safety and Health Center, Philippine Commission on Women, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, and City Government of Valenzuela), legislative parties (GABRIELA Women’s Party and Anakpawis Party), and civil society/ non-government organizations (Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, IBON Foundation, Kilusang Mayo Uno, and Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan).
The forum was very timely as it coincided with UP Diliman’s launching of One Billion Rising 2018, a worldwide movement to end violence against women. It also provided opportune inputs to the APEC Women in Garments Workshop to be conducted by UP ISSI in April 2018.