Do You Agree? The Philippines is One of the Worst Places to Work

The Philippines is included in the top 10 dangerous places for workers, according to the 2020 Global Rights Index by the International Trade Union Confederation.

Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Zimbabwe are also included in the list. The Philippines is the only South East Asian country to be in the top 10.

The ITUC Global Rights Index rated 139 countries based on the following criteria:

  • No guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law (5+)
  • No guarantee of rights (5)
  • Systematic violation of rights (4)
  • Regular violation of rights (3)
  • Repeated violation of rights (2)
  • Irregular violation of rights (1)

The ITUC has over 200 million workers from 163 countries, making it the world’s largest trade union federation with 332 national labor federations as members.

The Global Rights Index was created to reflect a country’s record on worker’s rights and paint a picture of what working is like in that country. A total of 4 Filipino unions are considered ITUC affiliates: Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Federation of Free Workers, Sentro, and Kilusang Mayo Uno. 


In a PhilStar report, the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU) agree with the Philippines’ standing in the top 10, and mentioned hard times for workers during the community quarantine, such as “actual circumstances on the ground, the current state of labor relations policy during the quarantine allowing wage reductions and suspending labor rights inspections, the anti-labor and the anti-consumer program of our economic managers to raise anew excise taxes and opposing security of tenure, as well as the dangerous political slide towards authoritarianism evidenced by passage of the Anti-Terror Bill." 

"There remains unresolved assassinations, allegedly labor-related disappearances, various repressions, red-tagging and wanton attacks on workers and workers' fundamental rights that makes the current environment dangerous and difficult for workers,” ALU added.

As quarantine persists, the group said conditions could “get even worse.” Times are tough, and the federation called on the national government to listen to workers’ needs and concerns. They also urged government leaders to “[uphold] our individual civil and political liberties, [respect] our collective economic rights, and [put] our workers interests first."

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