Opening address at the Tripartite plus dialogue on the promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility/ Responsible Business Conduct in the Philippine coconut, pineapple and banana industries

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Tripartite plus dialogue on the promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility/ Responsible Business Conduct in the Philippine coconut, pineapple and banana industries, 20 September 2021, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines via Zoom | 20 September 2021
  • Partners from the EU Delegation led by Mr Mauricio Cellini,
  • Partners from DOLE led by Assistant Secretary Teresita Cucueco,
  • Partners from DA led by Undersecretaries Evelyn Lavina and Ching Caballero
  • Partners from DTI led Assistant Secretary Aster Ceberte and DTI Director for Region 8 Celerina Bato
  • Mr Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., and officials of ECOP,
  • Brothers and sisters from workers organizations,
  • Representatives from enterprises in coconut, pineapple and banana industries,
  • ILO colleagues, partners, and guests,
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!
Welcome to this dialogue on corporate social responsibility/responsible business conduct or CSR/RBC. We put the spotlight today on
the coconut, pineapple and banana industries in the Philippines.

We appreciate your presence, and count on your support to promote CSR/RBC.

Responsible business conduct is very much linked to advancing social justice, and promoting decent work. It also contributes to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it also crucial to ensure a human-centred approach as outlined in the Global Call to Action for a fully inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery.

Social dialogue in the fruit industry, and the labour sector promotes a common understanding of expectations, and issues on roles and responsibilities.

Partners play important roles based on the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, known as the MNE Declaration.

Through this dialogue, we aim to establish a multi-stakeholder partnership, and develop strategic plan to improve adherence to international principles. We hope this will also lead to better working conditions, and decent work opportunities in the coconut, pineapple and banana industries.

These industries contribute to the country’s economy, and its international economic relations.

In 2019, the coconut, pineapple and banana remained to be among the country’s leading agricultural export commodities according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. Combined export volume further posted a value of around 102.5 billion pesos.

Though the country reaps enormous economic benefits from these industries, challenges remain in their supply chains. This is in relation to labour rights, environment and human rights.

Workers in these industries are often in vulnerable employment, without labour and social protection, and under poor or dangerous working conditions.

The ILO Responsible Supply Chains in Asia project conducted further study on labour and employment challenges in the coconut, pineapple, and banana industries. A synthesis will be presented later based on key findings.

All these are critical to promote decent work, and to ensure a human-centred recovery in these industries.

Finally, let me wish you all a meaningful and successful dialogue. We all look forward to your contribution, and collaboration towards responsible business conduct.

Thank you!