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Manila – In line with the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) contribution to address the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 under the banner theme, “DOLE: Creating Opportunities, Fresh Hope for the Filipino Workforce,” the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS), the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department, successfully launched its 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: The ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for Creating a Decent Future of Work Amid and Beyond COVID-19,” in August 26 via Zoom, and broadcast live through the ILS official Facebook page.

The Institute opened the discourse with “Flex and Telecommute It: Alternative Work Arrangement (AWA) Schemes and other modes of Labor Preservation,” a concept that was initially introduced by the DOLE Advisory No. 9 Series of 2009 to assist and guide all stakeholders on various AWAs as coping mechanisms and remedial measures in times of economic difficulties and national emergencies.

“The Revive and Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar series, is one of our immediate responses to this pandemic and the Institute organized this in line with the Department of Labor and Employment’s aim to address the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 banner theme. We had to revisit our policy priorities in order for us to push for policies that endeavor to cater, contribute, and achieve a ‘better normal’ for all of us,” said ILS Executive Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba in her welcome remarks.

Resource Speaker, Atty. Mary Grace L. Riguer-Teodosio, Acting Director of the DOLE-PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office, discussed the Flexible Work Arrangements as an alternative to outright termination of employees or the total closure of any business establishment. Her discussion also included other modes of labor preservation and key labor standards, which can be utilized by all stakeholders especially during these trying times. Her presentation also zeroed-in on social justice and other policy recommendations to close policy gaps in terms of AWA while ensuring that basic labor standards are maintained and not compromised.

“We hope that this initial ILS webinar have amply made aware both employers and employees about these feasible work arrangements that can be implemented, and that our increased knowledge would result in the continued protection of the workers’ rights and the promotion of their welfare, while ensuring as well the economic security of employers as our country battles on in this pandemic,” said ILS Acting Deputy Executive Director Patrick P. Patriwirawan, Jr. in his closing remarks.

The webinar was attended by 200 participants comprised of various tripartite stakeholders from the government, employers, and employees’ sector. The live stream via the official ILS Facebook had a total of 791 views, and as of writing, substantially increased it viewership to more than 1,200 views, reaching 3,365 unique profiles.