Responsible Supply Chains and COVID-19

Opening address at the Responsible and Sustainable Enterprises in times of COVID-19 Webinar

By Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Responsible and Sustainable Enterprises in times of COVID-19 Webinar, 6 June 2020, Makati City, Philippines

Statement | Makati City, Philippines | 29 June 2020
Our partners from the EU Delegation led by Counsellor Thomas Wiersing and ECOP with Director General Roland Moya, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I warmly welcome you to this webinar and thank you for your support on this dialogue about the state of corporate social responsibility and sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are grateful to ECOP and the European Union for the collaboration.

The world of work is being profoundly affected by COVID-19. In addition to the threat to public health, the economic and social disruption threatens the long-term livelihoods and wellbeing of millions.

Extraordinary measures are being undertaken by countries to prevent its spread, while reviving the economy and labour market. Workers and enterprises are currently facing high risks of serious disruption. This is the worst global crisis since World War II.

The ILO calls for urgent and significant policy responses to protect both enterprises, and workers. Large-scale, integrated, policy measures are needed, focusing on four pillars:
  • stimulating the economy and jobs;
  • supporting enterprises, employment and incomes;
  • protecting workers in the workplace including occupational safety and health; and,
  • using social dialogue between government, workers and employers to find solutions.
I am aware that several actions within these four pillars have been undertaken by the Philippine government, different employers and other stakeholders.

Secretary Bello of the Department of Labor and Employment emphasized that social dialogue is very important in these most challenging times. Consultation and tripartite collaboration are essential as he pointed.

With the employers group, a lot of initiatives have been taken to support the government , their workers and within their supply chains. This webinar will provide an opportunity to hear more about their experiences and challenges tomorrow.

I hope that through this webinar, businesses will be more inspired and better equipped with the necessary tools and guidance they can refer to that would help them wade their way while confronting the challenges of COVID-19 as well in threading their path to recovery.

Further, we at ILO hope that this webinar will lead to more dialogues and collaboration to help build not just a new normal but a better normal based on the four pillars to make recovery more effective and sustainable.

We should see this as an opportunity to learn lessons and adjust our priorities - better social protection, International Labour Standards as foundations of working conditions, strong social dialogue.
We have to move fast, decisively, and together. Thank you and again, welcome to this webinar!