And this, according to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, is also a perfect time to promote harmonious labor-management relations and sustainable industrial peace through tripartism, as well as promoting self-regulation.
Baldoz made the observation yesterday as she led aviation industry players in Central Luzon in signing the Aviation-Industry Tripartite Council's voluntary code of good practices (VCGP) at a ceremony held at the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) offices at the Clark Freeport Zone, in Clark, Pampanga.
The Aviation-ITC is the first in the country, while the freshly-inked VCGP is the 47th industry code forged and signed during the two-year tenure of Baldoz as DOLE Secretary.
The DOLE has facilitated the formulation of VCGPs in the country's 16 regions, with the NCR having six VCGPs; Region 1 with three VCGPs; Region 2 with one; Region 3 with seven; Region 4-A with two; Region 4-B with three; Region 5 with one; Region 6 with one;Region 7 with three; Region 8 with five; Region 9 with two; Region 10, four; Region 11 with three; Region 12 with two; Caraga with three; and NCMB with one VCGPs.
There are now VCGPs in the following industries: banking, fishing, fish canning, construction, banana, electronics, BPO, pineapple, sugar, academe, fishing, allied services, mining, wood-based, eco-tourism, education, power, hospital, security and janitorial, broadcast, bus transport, hotel and restaurant, and cargo handling.
After the signing, Baldoz urged the Aviation-ITC to led in the fight against child labor and work to transform their enterprises into child labor-free enterprises.
"We have an on-going child labor-free barangay campaign. I believe we ought to expand that and work for child labor-free enterprises and child labor-free economic zones," Baldoz said, saying that Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Administrator Lilia de Lima has pledged her help to the DOLE for the realization of child labor-free economic zones in the country.
Jose Victor Luciano, president and chief executive officer of the CIAC, welcomed Secretary Baldoz to Clark. He is also a signatory to the Aviation-ITC's VCGP.
John Barrientos of the Civil Aeronautics Board, DOLE Regional Office No. 3 Director Raymundo G. Agravante, Assistant Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio, DOLE Pampanga Field Office Head Maria Rima Hernandez, and the duly-elected officers and members of the Council signed the voluntary code.
During her Clark visit, Baldoz also formally administered the oath-taking of the duly-elected officers of the Aviation--ITC who are as follows: Chairman, DOLE Regional Director; Vice Chairmen, Victor Edgar Carillo III (Management, Asean Aeronautics); Jonas Cortez (Labor, Lubwell Corporation); Secretariat, DOLE Pampanga Field Office; Treasurer, Gala Castro (Clark Airport Support Service Corporation); Auditor, Marie-Tessiebeth Cordova (Manager, Human Resource Manager, CIAC); Board of Directors, Glenn Zamora (Lubwell Corporation); Jeffrey Lacsina (OMNI Aviation Corporation); and Grenil Castrence (Winning Touch International Marketing).
The companies which comprise the Aviation-ITC are Clark Development Corporation, CIAC, UPS International, Inc., Aerotech Industrial Philippines, Inc., Air Asia, Inc., OMNI Aviation Corporation, Asian Aeronautical Services, Inc., Philippine Aviation Security Services Corporation, Dornier Technology, Inc., Clark Airport Support Service Corporation, Lubwell Corporation, Winning Touch International Marketing, and Miascor Clark Catering.
Inside the Clark Freeport Zone, the aviation industry has 34 company-stakeholders covering 1,900 workers, excluding CIAC, Clark Development Corporation, and their agencies and contractors which cover close to 2,000 workers.
The Aviation's VCGP aims to foster a proactive approach in ensuring voluntary compliance with the general labor standards (GLS) and occupational safety and health standards (OSHS).
It aims to encourage ITC members and stakeholders in the aviation industry in the region to exercise good corporate social responsibility (CSR) in promoting good neighbor communication, healthy competition in the field of labor relations, provision of employee welfare benefits, and human resource productivity and competitiveness in aviation.
In her message during the signing, Baldoz emphasized the Aviation-ITC's vital role in promoting and sustaining industrial peace in the aviation industry.
“Your industry is a key employment generator. I commend you for your foresight and initiative to address the problems and concerns of your industry through the Aviation-ITC. You are the experts in aviation. You know your problems; you know your weaknesses and your strengths. So through the ITC and the VCGP which we have just signed, you will have a mechanism that encourages self-regulation and minimizes government intervention," said Baldoz.
Stressing the importance of having a voluntary code of good practices and what benefits it may bring to the industry, Baldoz said:
“This voluntary code of good practices that you signed with the DOLE is a living document and a tool you can use to raise and lobby your issues and concerns and find better solutions to your problems. The DOLE is here to help you facilitate solutions through better and responsive policies and programs."
Baldoz said the Aviation-ITC can also recommend companies which are already voluntarily compliant with labor standards and occupational safety and health standards to be recognized by the DOLE through its Incentivizing Compliance Program.
“We want to incentivize compliance, based on tripartite assessment, by issuing companies a certificate of compliance. You are already recognized globally, hailed as among three of the “World’s Best Freeport Zone Airports”. You have no choice but to be No. 1. We at the DOLE will support you in this endeavor,” said Baldoz.
ITC vice chairmen Carillo and Cortez also took turns in expressing their commitment to make the VCGP and the Council work for the good of the aviation industry. Carillo, saying "yes to industrial peace”, thanked the DOLE for its support to the aviation industry.
"This partnership in the ITC is very timely. In my 44 years in this industry, I have seen its ups and downs. However, today, we are bouncing back with the help of the government. As a result, many investors are flying in. If we have industrial peace, we will be the No. 1 aviation hub here in Asia,” said Carillo.
Cortez also lauded the leadership of the DOLE and the CIAC in creating an avenue that would strengthen employer-employee relationship in aviation.
President Luciano also pledged support to the VCGP. “We are a notch higher because of the creation of this Aviation-ITC. Our partnership with the DOLE, through this VCGP, is part of our commitment to foster and sustain industrial peace. This year alone, the aviation industry has already grown by an astonishing 80 percent of our target in terms of passenger and cargo volume. Secretary Baldoz, we are assuring you of our full commitment,” he said.