Message at the DTI-ILO Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony of the Bringing Back Jobs Safely Project

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the DTI-ILO Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony of the Bringing Back Jobs Safely Project, 26 August 2022, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 26 August 2022
  • Undersecretary Blesilda Lantayona and officials of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);
  • Minister Masahiro Nakata of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines together with Japan Labour Attaché to the Philippines Mr Chihiro Kanno;
  • ILO colleagues;
  • Partners, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga (good morning)!
Just over a year into the ILO Japan Bringing Back Jobs Safely Project, we are now delivering digitalization training to small and informal enterprises nationwide. Digitalization of MSMEs will boost productivity and protect workers from risks of face-to-face transactions.

Partners have recognized the value of these ILO interventions to the National Employment and Recovery Strategy, the E-Commerce Roadmap, and the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, among other important programmes on livelihood and local economic development.

Moreover, President Marcos identified inclusive digital transformation and continued support to MSMEs as immediate priorities in his first State of the Nation Address.

With the Government of Japan’s support, the project trains small and informal businesses on digital entrepreneurship and financial education that encourages access to digital business development services and digital financial services.

The ILO, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its attached agencies, including TESDA, has tailored its global training programmes. These include the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE), the Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB), and Financial Education.

Integrating ILO trainings into our partners’ capacity-building programmes would help develop a cadre of world-class trainers or experts, and train over 20,000 MSMEs and informal businesses in the Philippines.

We appreciate Undersecretary Lantayona’s leadership in mobilizing DTI’s regional offices by enrolling DTI staff in ILO’s Training of Trainers, and delivering the trainings to small and informal businesses in their jurisdictions.

Our partners from the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), the MSME Academy of the Philippines, also campaigned for the first SCORE training programme in the Philippines.

The E-Commerce Office’s partnership in expanding outreach to informal business clients will advance e-commerce and inclusion.

TESDA further provided TVET trainers for current and aspiring entrepreneurs.

We truly appreciate all these partnerships and initiatives to reach more enterprises.

By signing the Memorandum of Understanding today, the ILO and DTI undertake to cooperate and mobilize actions to strengthen MSMEs and informal businesses, including their workers, in productivity measures, digital entrepreneurship, and financial education.

This aligns with the ILO's Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery, the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Through the BBJS project, the ILO is ready to help small and informal businesses. We count on your continued support to promote safe and healthy workplaces while leveraging technology to boost productivity.

Thank you and good day to all.