Jakarta (ANTARA) - The governments of Indonesia and the Philippines have agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation in manpower, according to secretary-general of the Indonesian Manpower Ministry, Anwar Sanusi.

He informed that the agreement was reached during his meeting with Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio Jr., undersecretary of the Labor and Employment Department of the Philippines, on the sidelines of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday (June 6, 2024).

"This bilateral meeting focused on collaboration within the ASEAN, mutual support in the Committee of Experts of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and cooperation in dealing with common manpower issues," Sanusi said in a statement received from his office here on Friday.

He added that the two countries share the commitment to promote inclusiveness and more equal representation in ILO's decision-making processes.

During the meeting, he conveyed Indonesia's commitment to providing the information required for implementing ILO's Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention.

The official also underlined that Indonesia considers the Philippines a strategic partner in pursuing the interests of developing countries at ILO forums.

Furthermore, he conveyed Indonesia's keenness to continue to collaborate with the Philippines to address manpower-related issues.

"We are hoping for continued cooperation in dealing with various issues, such as the democratization of the ILO governance, care economy, migration of workers, and protection for migrant workers," he stated.

Sanusi then asked for the Philippines' support for Indonesia's initiatives at the upcoming ASEAN Summit, including one pertaining to the ASEAN Declaration on the Placement and Protection of Migrant Fishers.

He also extended Indonesia's praise for the Philippines' leadership at the ASEAN Labour Ministers' Meeting (ALMM) and Senior Labour Official Meeting (SLOM) in the 2022–2024 period.

Undersecretary Bitonio welcomed the intensification of manpower partnership and cooperation between the two countries.

He also commended Sanusi for his role as the ASEAN coordinator for the ILO for the 2021–2024 period.

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Translator: Prisca T, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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