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Manila - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) met with sectors to discuss opportunities, challenges and strategies in creating decent and sustainable employment. Led by the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS), an agency attached to DOLE, in partnership with the Bureau of Local Employment, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the multi-stakeholder consultations to update the National Green Jobs Human Resource Development (NGJ HRD) Plan 2023 to 2028 were held from March 18 to 19, 2024, at the Sheraton Manila Bay, Malate, Manila.

The plan is mandated by the Republic Act No. 10771, otherwise known as the Philippine Green Jobs Act 2016, to ensure the availability of skills and human resources required by enterprises in green industries producing green products and services or using green technologies and business practices. It also sets out strategies for helping those whose jobs will be affected by changes in policies and regulations to preserve or restore the environment.

DOLE OIC-Undersecretary Atty. Paul Vincent W. Añover welcomed the attendees and participants from various organizations on the first day of the event. DOLE OIC-Assistant Secretary Patrick P. Patriwirawan Jr. graced the second day of the multi-stakeholder consultations. The officials recognized the invaluable insights and contributions of the participants from key employment-generating sectors in formulating strategic action points in updating the plan.

ILS Executive Director Jeanette T. Damo presented key provisions on sustainable development in the Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028 and the Labor and Employment Plan 2023 to 2028. She underscored the significance of the consultations for key inputs to the plan including (1) the comprehensive assessment of labor demand and supply situation; (2) strategies and policy recommendations to generate more investments in the promotion of green jobs; (3) key employment and employability challenges, and (4) critical skill requirements, competencies and programs needed to support and meet the human resource requirements of the sectors.

Georgina Pascual of ILO emphasized the essence of social justice and the significant role of ILO in the promotion of green jobs and decent work. “We should advance both job creation and social justice and ensure that the transition toward realizing economic, employment and social goals are fair, not only for workers, but also for employers, for enterprises and communities,” she said.

The first day of the consultations focused on renewable energy, construction, and transportation sectors. The second day featured manufacturing, ecotourism, and sustainable agriculture sectors. Discussants from national government agencies and institutions included Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera and Erwin Husmalga, Climate Change Commission; Ma. Gerarda Asuncion D. Merilo, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Danilo V. Vivar, Department of Energy (DOE); Michael Edione Gayona, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; and Ma. Fe J. Avila of the Department of Trade and Industry – Philippine Trade Training Center.

Discussants for key employment-generating sectors include OIC-Executive Director Ofelia R. Usigan of the Construction Manpower Development Foundation; Executive Director Ma. Corazon Dichosa of the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments; and Ramil S. Basuel of the Department of Tourism.

The two-day activity was supported by the Government of Japan through ILO.

ILS Deputy Executive Director Atty. Mary Grace L. Riguer-Teodosio concluded the two-day event. In her closing remarks, Atty. Riguer-Teodosio extended the Institute’s gratitude to all participants and partners.