International trade, or simply, trade, brings both a myriad of opportunities and an array of risks for various countries. Regarding employment, trade may either be a vital cog in employment generation or it may actually adversely affect employment situation—with working conditions and wages compromised. Hence, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS)—the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)—deemed it relevant to organize a Policy Forum on Trade and Employment to discuss their intertwined relationship. Anchored on DOLE Labor and Employment Agenda No. 2 (i.e. addressing the persistent problems of unemployment and underemployment), the policy forum sought to:
1. Provide an overview of concepts related to the field of international trade and introduce the different international trade policies adopted by the Philippines;
2. Familiarize participants with the different mechanisms to uphold the welfare of domestic industries amidst international trade; and
3. Present various interventions geared towards ensuring decent work in trade policies and strategies.
Held on 24 July 2018 at the iLearn Conference Room, 5/F DOLE Building, Intramuros, Manila, the policy forum was attended by DOLE Senior Officials, heads of bureaus, attached agencies, and ILS management and technical staff. Meanwhile, the resource persons who shared their vast knowledge and expertise during the event are the following: (1) Mr. Angelo Salvador M. Benedictos, Assistant Director of the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of International Trade Relations (DTI-BITR); (2) Ms. Maria Lourdes M. Saluta, Director II of the Research Investigation and International Trade Analyses Services (RIITAS) of the Tariff Commission (TC); (3) and Mr. Bryan M. Balco, National Project Coordinator for Strengthening the Impact of Trade on Employment in the Philippines (STRENGTHEN) Project of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Title: Harnessing Opportunities and Mitigating Risks: A Policy Forum on Trade and Employment