The Department of Labor and Employment – Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (DOLE-BWSC), the DOLE – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOLE-CAR) Office together with the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) held the regional roll-out of ILO Recommendation No. 204 (ILO R204) on the “Transition from Informal to Formal Economy”, with the heads and representatives of the Regional Development Council (RDC) via Zoom Meeting last October 06, 2022.

OIC-ARD Emerito A. Narag, PhD., delivers DOLE-CAR's message of support to the Recommendation 204


The ILO R204 was adopted during the 104th International Labor Conference in 2015, in order to address the difficulties faced by workers and economic units in the informal economy.

As defined in the ILO R204, the informal economy concerns all economic activities by workers and economic units that are not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements, which are not criminal or illicit trades.

Similarly, economic units refer to enterprises that employ workers, owned by individuals working on their own account (self-employed), or cooperatives and social solidarity units.

Through the ILO R204, policy makers are provided with a guiding framework to facilitate the transition of workers from informal to the formal economy.

Formalization ensures that employees achieve decent work, which complies with the fundamental principles and rights at work. Similarly, the transition to the formal economy progressively extends to the covered workers social security, maternity protection, decent working conditions and a minimum wage that takes into account the needs of workers which considers factors such as the cost of living and the general level of wages in their country.

Strategies in designing an integrated formalization of work takes into account Legal and Policy Frameworks, Employment Policies, Rights and Social Protection, Incentives, Compliance and Enforcement, freedom of Association, Social Dialogue and the Role of Employers’ and Workers’ Organization, and Data Collection.

The Department of Labor and Employment through its consultative tripartite mechanism endeavors to assist in the design and integration of policy areas for local agencies towards formalization of work. The Department similarly continues to advocate the implementation of General Labor Standards, and Occupational Safety and Health Standards across all workplaces.

Speakers form the DOLE-BWSC, the International Labor Organization, Independent Consultants Network Co., and NAPC-Workers in the Informal Sector (WISC) shared their expertise and insights.

The activity concluded with a workshop in identifying the thematic issues and challenges, and the opportunities, policy or program recommendations, with the agencies or partners which can facilitate the transition to formal economy in the region.


end//Daryll B. Ponard