The Philippine Labor & Migrant Issues Ebook series (Series 08 – September 2020) reflects the authors, Abao and Lao’s advocacy for migrant and labor rights. It reiterates their claims to institutional and normative change in OFW/ labor governance in the Philippines in accordance with the international labor regime under the ILO. The series as well consists of the celebration of the gains from the normalization of global standards on labor rights protection into the national context, such as the absentee vote for OFWs in 2016 (Lao 2016) and the subsequent ratifications of Domestic Workers Convention and the ILO Convention 151, respectively in 2013 and 2017(Abao 2015, 2016, 2017,2020).
Imagined alternatives are at the center of each article, such as the envisioned labor-centered framework of development, which anchors a worker’s rights-oriented capitalism (Abao 2016, 2017) and “reversals in societal priorities”, namely, the reintegration of returning OFWs (Lao 2016), responsible allocation of assistance to nationals (ATN) (Abao 2017), establishment of a department on migration (Abao 2019), and an end to contractualization (Abao 2017).
Overall the series poses a challenge to the current leadership “… not so much to embrace labor-centered development as a grand narrative, rather, to use it as an approach to elevate the status of labor in both the workplace and in society”(Abao 2018).