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Bro. Jonathan Jamora, President of the Consolidated Council of the Federation of Local Government Unit Employees under PSLINK, attended the UCLG Congress World Summit for Local and Regional Leaders held in Rabat, Morocco on October 1-4, 2013. He is also the president of the Bislig City Employees Association (BISCEA) in the Philippines and a member of the National Executive Board of PSLINK. The following article is a condensed version of his narrative report regarding his participation to the global summit which he presented during the NEB meeting held in PSLINK last December 23, 2013.
Through PSLINK I became part of the official PSI delegation to the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders / 4th United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) Congress held at the Hotel Sofitel, Rabat Morocco on October 1 to 4 2013. PSI was represented by ten (10) unions from developing countries.
On September 30, the day of our arrival, I joined the first PSI Coordination meeting held at the lobby of the Hotel Le Pietre. The meeting which was presided by the PSI General Secretary herself, Ms. Rosa Pavanelli, was attended by the entire PSI delegation to the summit. Each of the local unions shared their experiences, best practices, and future plans during the meeting. After the sharing we were briefed about the program activities and our agenda in the world congress. Ms. Pavanelli told us that UCLG and PSI have a lot in common: we both work for Quality Public Services. There are huge opportunities for cooperation at the international, regional and local levels in order to support access to quality public services.
As we all know, local executives have different priorities. Some defend public services as a public task, others push for outsourcing, privatization and PPPs. PSI seeks to contribute our experiences in the debate and in the meeting with the local officials. PSI also seeks to create new and stronger alliances between those who defend public services.
At the international level, PSI has already been invited to contribute to the GOLD III report UCLG submission to the UN and this was warmly welcomed by the UCLG. PSI’s role is to highlight the views of the working class and our position during the summit. PSI will have a stand at the exhibition booth to visualize the trade unions in the sector. More trade unions are invited to hand out their materials at the stand. The PSI had focused on QPS and trade union rights in public services.
Registration was held on October 1 while the Opening Ceremony was held the next day. His Majesty the King of Morocco Mahamed VI welcomed all the Delegates.
It was followed by the introductory plenary which had as its theme: IMAGINE SOCIETY, BUILD DEMOCRACY. The different speakers discussed and analyzed the major current and future challenges in our era faced by local and regional governments throughout the world. The sessions dealt with the impact of important global shifts that are currently taking place throughout the world, in particular, the effects of political, economic, social and environmental crisis on towns, cities and territories.
The sessions also served as a venue to reflect on the impact of local democracy as well as the contribution of the international municipal movement in the construction of local democracy issues in the 20th century taking into account the impact of the ‘Arab Spring” and the recentralization attempts in various regions.
On the third day, October 3, we went to the ISESCO Building, an hour-ride from the venue, and attended a parallel session with the topic “Promoting Local Economic Development.” Ms. Pavanelli was one of the speakers. The session sought to present local development solutions and their impact in the eradication of poverty. Particular attention was given to the positive results of south cooperation involving local authorities, representatives of social partners and other development actors. Session organizers include the International Labour Organization (ILO), Andalous Fund of Municipalities for International Solidarity (FAMSI), and the UCLG Working on Migration and Co-Development.
On the last day of our activities (October 4), we just stayed in our exhibition stand and observed others. We had some free time in the afternoon which we spent roaming around their “palengke” and buying souvenir items.
Overall, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to PSLINK for giving me the opportunity to participate in this very important global meeting. It was indeed a rare opportunity to be sent to a country as far away as Morocco and represent my country and union!
PSLINK in partnership with ANG NARS organized a Barangay Health Worker (BHW) leaders’ assembly yesterday at the PSLINK Solidarity Homes to discuss a new bill to promote and protect the rights of BHWs.
The new bill will recognize BHWs as workers and provide them decent employment towards strengthening primary health care in the country.
Around 30 BHWs from different cities in Metro Manila participated in the meeting. Cong. Leah Paquiz of ANG NARS Party-list came to the meeting herself to hear out the concerns of the BHWs.
PSLINK has just concluded its 2-day National Executive Board meeting in its National Headquarters.
Leaders from NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao came to the PSLINK Solidarity Homes for the meeting to discuss the different gains achieved and challenges encountered by the confederation this year.
PSLINK joined the November 30 mobilization in celebration of Bonifacio Day.
Click on the link to read the solidarity letter and call for support from PSI.