Opening address at the DOLE-ILO signing of the memorandum of agreement and launching of the knowledge corner

By Mr Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the DOLE-ILO signing of the memorandum of agreement and launching of the knowledge corner, Manila, Philippines, 12 January 2012

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 12 January 2012
  • Secretary Baldoz together with officials of the Department of Labor and Employment,
  • Representatives of the library consortium member institutions of DOLE,
  • University officials, faculty and staff,
  • Media representatives
  • Students, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga sa inyong lahat (good morning to all of you)!

Thank you for joining us today for the Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement and Launching of the DOLE-ILO Knowledge Corner.

Let me also acknowledge Secretary Baldoz for her support to make this DOLE-ILO Knowledge Corner possible. More importantly, for her leadership and commitment to ensure decent and productive work for all Filipinos at home and abroad.

The ILO supports initiatives under the Philippine Development Plan and the Philippine Labor Employment Plan anchored on achieving sustainable, inclusive and greener growth through decent and productive work.

The Philippine Labor Employment Plan identified providing labour-market information to address jobs-skills mismatch. The Plan also highlighted the need to promote better coordination and to improve or invest in knowledge.

Information and knowledge sharing is not only vital to the ILO but it is also a critical component of our global, regional and national mandates.

The ILO has a wide range of materials, including researches, operational and policy tools, statistics information, labour market information and analysis.

We are willing and eager to reach out to our constituents – the government through DOLE, employers and workers organizations, as well as to students and faculty in the academia.

DOLE opened its library not only to its officials but also to students and academic institutions because they know that students of today are our leaders and policy makers of tomorrow.

It is our hope that through the DOLE-ILO Knowledge Corner, we can enhance understanding of the world of work and the need for sustainable, inclusive and greener growth.

It is our responsibility, if not our mandate, to empower people with information which can be transformed into knowledge and action.

One thing we should all keep in mind is that there are students around the world, who do not have a clear understanding of the most basic concepts, definitions and policies to help recognize and address challenges in the world of work.

As an example, if you simply ask what is the definition of employment and unemployment? Only a few students, academic and even policy makers throughout the world could give you the definitions.

Why is that? - The short answer is that most people take it as given that everyone already knows the definitions when they start their academic career.

I can attest to this simple fact as I have been with academia, national government and for the last fifteen years with the ILO.

Regrettably, the concepts are not often brought forward in graduate or even under graduate studies. It is not often brought to the forefront economic, political or social science courses.

How do we change that? It is a critical element which we bring forth through the knowledge corner - to enlighten people of the most basic concepts and policy concerns of our time.

To help people realize that they too, have a role in helping achieve the goal of sustainable, inclusive and greener growth through decent and productive work.

This is what we hope to offer in the ILO knowledge corners in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Today, we express our commitment and support to the DOLE-ILO knowledge corner by working closely with the DOLE library as part of our knowledge sharing efforts.

Together with the ILO Country Team, we will reach out and respond to your needs for lectures on issues – be it for DOLE officials or for its partner institutions.

We will continue to provide online access to information resources through the computer donated to the DOLE Library and inform you on new ILO research and publications.

In the knowledge sharing process, the ILO is not just a provider, but also a receiver. The DOLE Library offers quality researches and publications with its pool of experts, attached agencies, knowledge networks and partner institutions.

This is what knowledge sharing is all about. This is what the partnership through the DOLE-ILO knowledge corner will work to achieve.

Again, let me take this opportunity to thank you and to wish you all the best for 2012. Mabuhay!