The Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (RICMC) reconvened to discuss inter-agency collaboration specifically on labor related matters relevant to the current situation in Caraga Region. The meeting was held on September 4, 2018 in Butuan City and was participated by the regional heads and representatives of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), National Mediation and Conciliation Board (NCMB), Office of Civil Defense – Department of National Defense (OCD-DND), Department of Justice (DOJ), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine National Police (PNP).

The committee discussed and reviewed the Guidelines on the Conduct of the DOLE, DILG, DND, DOJ, AFP and PNP relative to the exercise of workers’ rights and activities and of the Joint DOLE-PNP-PEZA Guidelines in the Conduct of PNP Personnel, Economic Zone Police and Security guards, company security guards and similar personnel during labor disputes. The said guidelines particularly explain the role of DOLE as a mediator to reduce the appearance of force and avoid any form of violence while protecting employers and workers in the exercise of their freedom of association. The committee member agencies act as support in ensuring that this objective is achieved.

The committee also able to discussed pressing concerns raised by specific labor groups to DOLE Caraga. At the same time, it was an opportunity for the DOLE Caraga’s Labor cluster team – NCMB and NLRC – to discuss workers’ rights in relation to the Guidelines particularly freedom of association, collective bargaining, and all other trade union activities.

After the meeting, the group was able to identify the composition of the RICMC at Caraga Region. The group was also able to revise and finalize the RICMC – Caraga Terms of Reference (TOR) to strengthen partnership among member agencies. The TOR was approved as manifested in the signatures of representatives of the participating offices on the document.

BUHAWE C. CORREA