On October 28, 2022, the Labour Minister, Mr. Suchart Chomklin, assigned the Secretariat to the Labour Minister, Mr. Suthep Chitvong, as the head of the Thai delegation, together with the Permanent Secretary of Labour, Mr. Boonchob Suttamanaswong, the Ministry of Labour’s Inspector-General, Mr. Samat Pattamasukon, and delegation. The Thai Ambassador to Manila, Mr. Tul Traisorat, welcomed the delegation during the 27th ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Meeting (ALMM) between October 27 to 29 in Manila, the Philippines.
Mr. Suthep said the meeting was a forum for leaders to promote labour cooperation among ASEAN member countries and exchange views on implementing the ASEAN Labour Ministers Framework Program. This year, the meeting reported on the performance and progress of related issues of member countries, such as linking social security rights for migrant workers in the ASEAN region, promoting a competitive ASEAN workforce, human resource development for the changing world of jobs, the future of work and the use of technology for inclusive and sustainable growth. It also discussed green work promotion, the protection and promotion of migrant workers’ rights, promoting occupational safety and health, and transitioning informal employment to formal employment, for example.
Mr. Suthep continued that on behalf of the Thai government, he thanked and congratulated the Philippines for successfully hosting the meeting. It is well known that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact and uncertainty on the economy, employment, labour market, labor mobility, and the quality of life of Thai and foreign workers. At the start of the pandemic, the Thai government, under the leadership of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense General Prayuth Chan-ocha, and Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, who oversees the Ministry of Labour, had policies to manage the COVID-19 situation by instituting various public health measures to alleviate losses. The Labour Minister, Mr. Suchart Chomklin, had policies to take care of workers working legally so that all working in Thailand received equal protection and social security. The Ministry of Labour focused on measures and benefits for workers during the COVID-19 situation, such as ensuring workers had access to free medical care, services, and facilities, as well as quarantine facilities for workers exposed to COVID-19. The Factory Sandbox project was implemented to screen, vaccinate, and quarantine workers infected with COVID-19 so that the business sector could continue operating during the pandemic. It announced guidelines for surveillance and prevention of COVID-19, set up an operation center to prevent and resolve unemployment, and provided social security protection through social security measures and others.
“This ALMM ministerial meeting is a meeting to acknowledge the operations of SLOM and to endorse relevant documentation to produce concrete results from member countries. As the head of the Thai delegation, I reaffirm our commitment to social protection and rights to ensure decent work for all workers in line with the policy of the Labour Minister, Mr. Suchart Chomklin, who strives for Thai and foreign workers to be treated equally without leaving anyone behind,” concluded Mr. Suchart.
Division of Public Relations
28 October 2022