The Philippine Federal Government, through its labor department, has issued an order prohibiting private companies from requiring women to wear high-heeled shoes at work.
A working group that proposed the new directive said the order makes Philippines the first country in Asia to ban the mandatory use of high heels in the workplace.
Alan Tanjusay, a spokesman for the Philippines union trade union union ALU-TUCP, said: “We hope that regulation will also be copied and applied to the benefit of workers throughout the Asia region.
“With this regulation, millions of Filipinos (workers) … will now be freed from the bondage of unsafe and dangerous working conditions.
Secretary of Labor Silvestre Bello said the guidelines would come into effect next month and was based on a study of a working group created following the ALU-TUCP proposal.
He told the Filipino media: “We realized how the sales ladies, for example, look very tired after standing all day in high heels.
“It can be said that there is a feeling of inconvenience or that they are uncomfortable.”
He added that the department did not receive negative comments about the order during the consultations.
Under departmental guidelines, companies can no longer require women to wear shoes with heels that are more than 1 inch high as part of the dress code at work.