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Manila – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) holds the first meeting of the DOLE’s revived Inter-Agency Committee on Research and Statistical Matters (IAC-RSM) via a Zoom meeting last January 31.

The IAC-RSM was reconstituted by virtue of Department Order 229, Series of 2021, signed by Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III last November 18, 2021.

The reconstituted IAC-RSM is chaired by Atty. Benjo Santos M. Benavidez, Undersecretary for Labor Relations, Social Protection and Policy Support Cluster, with Alex V. Avila, Assistant Secretary Labor Relations, Social Protection and Policy Support Cluster, as the Vice-Chair, respectively.

As the Secretariat for the IAC-RSM, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) read the salient points of the Department Order 229-21 including an overview of 2017-2022 Research Commitments under Administrative Order 288-17.

The heads and representatives of the DOLE attached agencies, bureaus and services, then presented a report of their office’s research accomplishments and updates covering 2017-2021.

The Institute’s researches were reported by Executive Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba, including the Bike-to-Work paper, which aided the Department in crafting a program for workers who commute to work using their bicycles. Other pioneering papers of the Institute include studies on work-from-home arrangements, fair working conditions in the healthcare and digital platform sectors to rapid assessments of employment and social protection programs for displaced local and overseas workers.

Assistant Secretary Alex V. Avila who chaired the meeting reminded the members to submit the names of their permanent representatives in time for the next IAC-RSM meeting, which is scheduled on a quarterly basis.

The IAC-RSM is guided by its primary function of formulating and recommending a research agenda for 2022 onwards after a review and analysis of previous research commitments along with a thorough evaluation of the policy priorities affected by the current COVID-19 situation.