Davao City – Hundreds of participants from all over the country have joined the recently concluded 6th Informal Economy Labor Day last May 6, 2017 at SMX Convention Center. The activity was conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the National Anti-Poverty Commission-Workers in the Informal Sector Council (NAPC-WISC).

The national event was graced by Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III who represented President Rodrigo R. Duterte to express DOLE’s goal of promoting the welfare of workers in the informal economy and emphasized the importance of helping them transition from informal to formal economy.

With the theme, “Boses, Pagkilala at Pakikilahok sa Pamamahala Tungo sa Matatag na Negosyo at Kabuhayan,” the event aims to give due recognition to the economic and social contributions of the workers in the informal economy.

It also aims to orient participants on the scope of informal economy; apprise the sector on the recent developments on the advocacy and activities spearheaded by various government agencies; and identify issues and challenges encountered by informal economy workers at the local level.

Labor Secretary Bello, on behalf of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, delivered the keynote message. In his message, the Secretary highlighted the DOLE’s efforts in the realization of International Labor Organization (ILO) Recommendation No. 204 which absorbs the informal sector as part of the formal economy.

“Despite their economic and social contributions, workers in the informal sector are insufficiently covered by labor laws and standards. That is why DOLE is vying for the ILO’s edict,” Bello said.

Secretary Bello also underscored the increase in the maximum per capital assistance to beneficiaries through Department Order No. 173 or the revised guidelines in the implementation of the DILEEP from P10,000 to P20,000. He also added that they will be studying increasing it up to P30,000.

During the celebration, DOLE XI also turned over checks under DILEEP’s Kabuhayan and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) assistance to beneficiaries in Davao Oriental which include: P629,354 for the Local Government Unit of San Isidro Drift Wood Manufacturer’s Association; P600,000 to the Davao Oriental Bag Weaver’s Association, and P1 million for the emergency employment program in the Municipality of Manay.

Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod also presented Department’s accomplishments and plans for transitioning workers from the informal economy to the formal economy.

Moreover, a validation and consultation workshop was spearheaded by NAPC-WISC in the morning session.

The celebration of the Informal Sector Day is pursuant to Proclamation No. 1215 wherein the country is commemorating May 1 to 7 of every year as Linggo ng Paggawa, with May 6 dedicated to informal sector workers.