Opening address at the workshop on Participatory Action Oriented Training (PAOT) approaches to improving occupational safety and health in the rural sectors of agriculture and fishing

By Ms Cerilyn Pastolero, Project Manager of the ILO Project on Improving Workers' Rights in the Rural Sectors of the Indo-Pacific with a focus on Women at the workshop on Participatory Action Oriented Training (PAOT) approaches to improving occupational safety and health in the rural sectors of agriculture and fishing, 24 May 2022, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 24 May 2022
Good day everyone and welcome to this workshop!

Warm greetings to our government partners from:
  • Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and its all bureaus and attached agencies
  • Department of Agriculture (DA) and its relevant bureaus
  • Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
  • Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
  • Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
  • Philippine Coast Guard
  • Regional Safety and Health Practitioners
  • Tripartite partners in the Regional ITCs for Banana and Fishing
  • Officials from the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP)
  • Brothers and sisters representing workers’ organizations;
  • Colleagues, facilitators, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga (good morning)!
The ILO is glad to welcome you in today’s workshop that aims to improve Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the rural sectors of agriculture, fishing and mining, by introducing the ILO’s Participatory Action Oriented Training (PAOT) methodology, and discussing sector-specific strategies and materials for PAOT application in the rural sectors such as agriculture and fishing.

Our sincerest thanks to the United States Department of Labor (US DOL) for making this workshop possible.

Nearly 3 million workers die every year due to occupational accidents and diseases and at least 402 million people suffer from non-fatal occupational injuries, according to the ILO's World Day for Safety and Health Report 2022.

Agriculture and fishing are among the most challenging and hazardous occupations, which require specific and special protection.

Many agricultural workers suffer occupational accidents and diseases due to working with machines, vehicles, tools and animals.

They are also exposed to extreme weather and temperatures, excessive noise and vibration, slips, trips and falls; they are also exposed to dust, chemicals, organic substances and infectious agents, among others.

Fishing crew spend long hours and periods at sea, working at night and in rough weather and sea conditions, handling dangerous catch, transporting and operating heavy equipment and gears without proper PPEs.

Workers involved in small-scale fishing are more vulnerable as most have only informal and self-employed work arrangements, and have limited or no access to social security, including pensions, disability and health insurance.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many new challenges and only exacerbated the decent work deficits for workers in these sectors, particularly those at the bottom of supply or value chains.

OSH programmes and services are mostly targeting manufacturing or service industries, and rural workers, are hardly reached.

Promoting a positive and preventative safety and health culture in workplaces is necessary and taking a concerted action towards the achievement of the goals under the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP), as well as in realizing the ILO’s Global Call to Action for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient human-centred recovery from COVID-19.

We believe that meaningful social dialogue and multisectoral commitment from the government, employers and workers’ organizations are key elements in ensuring a healthier workforce and safer workplaces for all, leaving no one behind.

With your commitment and participation to this workshop, we look forward towards your concerted efforts towards improving safety and health in agriculture and fishing sectors.

I wish you all a fruitful and successful workshop. May our endeavour help make decent work a reality for all!

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!