Manila – The Institute for Labor Studies paid tribute to one of its long-time serving employee during its celebration of the Pride month last June 25, which was conducted online via Zoom.

Outgoing Workers Welfare Research Division Chief Maria Isabel D. Artajo was lauded by her ILS colleagues, bosses, and DOLE Senior Officials alike for her numerous contributions to the Institute and her service to the public, particularly for passionately pushing for policies through research that promote meaningful change for the Filipino workforce.

Ms. Artajo started her ILS journey ten years ago beginning June 2011 as a Labor and Employment Officer II. With her purposeful work ethic, Ms. Artajo rose to the rank of as Chief Labor and Employment Officer for WWRD last 2019.

Ms. Artajo authored a number of policy researches for ILS, most recent of which are “Leaving No Worker Behind: Evidence from a Participatory Assessment of DOLE Interventions for Displaced Workers,” a social protection paper co-authored with Malorie Joy O. Mones and Bernard Paul M. Mangulabnan; “Strengthening Preparedness for Migrant Worker Intervention: Thematic Analysis and Local Index Tool Development,” a migration study co-authored with Ronell J. Delerio; “Bringing Sustainable Livelihood Framework to Life: A Study on the Possible Determinants of Sustainability of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP),” co-authored with Ms. Francesca Rose S. Castillo and Ms. Mones; and “An Analysis of the Practices and Policies in the Employment of Migratory Sugarcane Workers (MSWS).”

During the 2020 DOLE Research Conference, Ms. Artajo presented her groundbreaking research titled, “Exploring a BIG Idea: Prospects and Challenges of a Basic Income Guarantee in the Philippines,” which aimed to introduce a pathway toward equitable and transformative social protection systems via a thorough analysis of the prospects and challenges in introducing a basic income guarantee in the Philippines. (Click here for a copy of the research: https://ils.dole.gov.ph/exploring-a-big-idea-prospects-and-challenges-of-a-basic-income-guarantee-in-the-philippines/ )

Ms. Artajo was awarded the Natatanging Gabay/Best Supervisor/Manager Award during the Institute’s Annual Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Awards.

She was elected president of the ILS Employees Association (ILSEA) for 2012 and 2018, where during her leadership she pushed and bargained for substantive reforms such as the Mental Health Leave for all ILS Employees, other employee-centered policies related to mental health by calling for a flexible work environment, and management-supported incentives that are designed to improve the working culture within the Institute.