Manila – The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) organized its very first online DOLE Research Conference for 2020 via the Zoom online platform from 25-26 March 2021.

As a culminating policy advocacy activity anchored on this year’s theme of Revive and Thrive: Actions for Creating a Decent Future of Work Amid and Beyond COVID-19, the 9th DOLE Research Conference provided a venue for the Institute’s researchers to present the findings of researches conducted during this time of pandemic and elicit discussion and exchange of ideas on labor policy issues between and among various offices and agencies of the Department of Labor and Employment.

In his Message, DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III acknowledged the contributions of ILS in “broadening our policy discourse on the key pillars of decent work and in building consensus among our tripartite partners despite the challenging year we have been through, especially in battling and addressing the effects of COVID-19.”

In her Welcome Remarks, Executive Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba admitted how 2020 has been made difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic and how it radically affected how work is done.

“As an agency tasked to assist in evidence-based policymaking, the challenge to ILS was how to make ourselves relevant at a time when policy makers and program managers are searching for innovative ways to preserve jobs and protect the vulnerable. We chose to rise to the challenge. We re-aligned our research priorities, recalibrated our targets, and revised our methodologies to come up with studies, which we think are important in policy discussions toward a better normal. We involved relevant DOLE agencies as well as tripartite partners and concerned government agencies in doing the studies.”

For this year’s 9th DOLE Research Conference, the Institute presented ten researches tackling post-pandemic recovery discussions impacting Filipino workers and employers:

The research papers were made in the midst of the nationwide-lockdown and grouped based on the themes mirroring the 2020 ILS Revive and Thrive COVID-19 Series.

The following researches that were presented this year under Theme 1: “Empowering workers and employers with innovative tools include:” 1) Exploring Telecommuting as the New Normal Work Arrangement: A Rapid Assessment of Telecommuting Practices Prior and During the COVID-19 Pandemic; 2) Public Employment Services and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence of Linkage from the Philippines; 3) Facilitating Jobs in the New Normal: An Assessment of Local Public Employment Facilitation Services and Mechanisms in the Philippines; and 4) Bike to Work: A Survey on Use of Bike in Time of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Research presentations under Theme 2: “Advancing workers’ rights and welfare through human-centered systems and institutions” include the following: 1) Between Resilience and Transformation: Mental Health Policies, Interventions,  and Challenges in the ITBPO Industry through the COVID-19 Crisis; 2) A Study on Public Work Programs toward Better Labor Market Outcomes: The Cases of TUPAD and Cash-for-Work, 3) Wage Subsidy Program: An Exploratory Study in the Philippines, and 4) Exploring a BIG Idea: Prospects and Challenges of a Basic Income Guarantee in the Philippines.

The last lineup of researches under Theme 3: “Ensuring safe, democratic, and sustainable workplace towards a decent future” are: 1) Trends on Female Economic Inactivity and Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in the Philippines, and 2) Affirming the Right to Freedom from Violence and Harassment in the World of Work: A Gap Analysis of the ILO Convention 190.

DOLE Assistant Secretary Alex V. Avila, of the Labor Relations, Social Protection and Policy Support Cluster, gave the Closing Remarks for the event.

Copies of the presentations can be accessed or downloaded here: http://bit.ly/DoleRescon2020presentations

The full papers (though not yet for citation) can be downloaded at this link https://bit.ly/DoleRescon2020papers

To watch the 9th DOLE Research Conference again, please go to these links at our official FB accounts:

Day 1 AM: https://fb.watch/4yvypHMiq9/

Day 1 PM: https://fb.watch/4yvwMNWNxn/

Day 2 AM: https://fb.watch/4yvKnDv2SM/