Opening address at the Green jobs and just transition technical workshop for employers
By Khalid Hassan, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Green jobs and just transition technical workshop for employers, Makati City, 22 August 2016
- Director Valderrama and officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),
- Mr Dee, President of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP),
- Board members and officials of ECOP,
- Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga sa inyong lahat (Good morning to all of you)!
Climate change, disasters and environmental concerns pose a major challenge on the Philippine economy and social progress. It affects employers as well, given its impact on business assets and productivity.
It interrupts business operations due to weather damage and disrupts services and infrastructure, including production sites, equipment, raw materials and supply chains.
Unsustainable use of resources, including current carbon and resource-intensive approaches, is expected to increasingly undermine productivity and affect enterprises, jobs and livelihoods. Doing business-as-usual is no longer an option.
The ILO recognizes these challenges and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), as the voice of business and as a representative of employers has been our active partner, along with the government and workers organizations in the Philippines. In fact, ECOP has spearheaded activities to increase awareness on green jobs, as well as decent and productive work among its members.
Under the ILO’s Green Jobs Asia and the Greener Business Asia projects, ECOP played a key role together with the government, workers organizations and implementing partners. ECOP further helped in developing enterprise advisory services in the automotive sector.
In 2012, ECOP contributed to the first Green Jobs mapping of the ILO. It was also the same year when ECOP expressed its commitment to pursue a just transition to green practices and low carbon economy. This commitment was reflected in the position paper and manifesto shared among its members in the 33rd National Conference of Employers. All these initiatives were instrumental in the passage of the Philippine Green Jobs Act.
However, the ILO recognize that such transition has major implications for business and employers. It is therefore necessary to provide access to information, tools and good practices to become effective advocates in national policy dialogues. Such access can also help employers in developing strategies to minimize risks and in identifying opportunities for their own organization and members.
Making full use of social dialogue, involving the government, employers and workers organizations also address labour market changes triggered by shifting to low carbon, environmentally sustainable and resilient economies.
Promoting greener environmental practices in work places, addressing skill shortages, and strengthening the role of social dialogue to improve such work places are key conditions to succeed this transition.
A strong employer-worker cooperation to develop and implement production based on sustainable practices can assist enterprises to become more viable. Safer, greener and more productive work places will further lead to concrete benefits for firms’ economic, social and environmental performance.
It is in this light that the ILO, together with DOLE and ECOP, is holding this technical workshop on Green Jobs and Just Transition for employers’ organizations. This activity builds on initiatives done with the government, employers and workers organizations on green jobs.
Through this activity, we to aim to provide employers with an overview and to deepen understanding of discussions on sustainable development, the main environmental challenges and their implications for business, the greening of enterprises and workplaces, and the role that business and employers’ organizations can play in lobbying and service development in the environmental field and in ensuring an inclusive and just transition.
This is part of the ILO’s support to the government, employers and workers, as well as stakeholders in piloting policy guidelines on ‘Just Transition towards an Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All’ in the Philippines.
This activity further provides support to the recently passed Philippine Green Jobs Act or Republic Act 10771, which is expected to enable the government, together with employers and workers’ organizations and other stakeholders, to leverage the process of structural change towards a sustainable, low carbon, climate-resilient economy.
All these initiatives are linked to national goals and international commitments such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Philippines’ Nationally Determined Contribution to address climate change, to promote green jobs and to ensure decent and productive work.
It is our hope that through this activity, we will be able to strengthen our work and partnership to identify links to employers’ agenda and practicable actions that can be pursued by employers and those that can be supported under the Just Transition initiative. This is towards the end view of scaling up and sustaining initiatives on green jobs as well as decent and productive work.
Again, thank you for taking the time to join this activity and to be part of this meaningful discussion. Rest assured that the ILO will continue to support employers’ organizations, through ECOP, as well as the Philippine government, workers’ organizations and other key stakeholders towards a just transition to a more environmentally and socially sustainable economy.
Thank you and Mabuhay (long live)!