Responsible Supply Chains and COVID-19

Opening address at the Online Training on International Labour Standards and CSR/Responsible Business Conduct for Current and Future Business Leaders

By Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Online Training on International Labour Standards and CSR/Responsible Business Conduct for Current and Future Business Leaders, 11 August 2020, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 11 August 2020
  • Mr Moya and officials of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines;
  • Representatives from various industry associations;
  • Colleagues, distinguished guests,
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!
I am glad to be with you today to open this online training on Corporate Social Responsibility.

Business leaders play a key role to ensure responsible business conduct and corporate social responsibility. My gratitude for your being part of this 7-day virtual training. Let me cite the primary reason why this activity is important.

Strengthening your knowledge and understanding on corporate social responsibility/responsible business conduct is vital to your being the leader or CSR focal points in your respective enterprises. You play a critical role in promoting values, CSR/RBC standards, and influencing business practices in your respective enterprises.

In ensuring responsible business standards, you are in a vantage position in your respective enterprises to promote the principles of the MNE Declaration or – The ILO Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy. A copy of the MNE Declaration has been shared with you ahead of this training.

Recommendations in the MNE Declaration are rooted in international labour standards. Adherence of enterprise to the MNE Declaration is essential particularly in the context of foreign direct investment and trade, and the use of the global supply chains

Global supply chains contribute significantly to economic growth, job creation, entrepreneurship and poverty reduction.

At the same time, global supply chains confront challenges on production, and issues related to labour rights, environment and human rights.

In most recent times, adherence to the MNE Declaration principles is seen critical within the context of COVID-19.

The world of work is being profoundly affected by COVID-19 pandemic, which is not just a global health crisis but a labour and economic crisis.

Particularly for the agri-food sector, the lockdown measures to control the pandemic have placed so much strain on the capacity of the sector to continue meeting demand, providing income and livelihood, and ensuring safety and health of the thousands of agricultural workers and producers.

Urgent action is indeed needed to address the multiple decent work challenges faced by workers in this sector.

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.

Several actions within these four pillars have been undertaken by the Philippine government, different employers and other stakeholders.

With the employers group, a lot of initiatives have been taken to support particularly their workers and within their supply chains during this challenging time. Some of these initiatives will be shared with you as part of this training.

I hope that through this training, you will be more inspired and better equipped with knowledge and tools to confront the challenges building a better future of work amid COVID-19.

I look forward to your strong and continued support even after this training. It is by working together that we can achieve sustainable and inclusive growth through decent work and responsible business conduct. This is an important step in building a better future of work.

Thank you!