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In line with the Memorandum of Cooperation, between the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce and the Department of Labor and Employment, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) and the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) will be holding the 5thPartnerships in Governance Forum (PGF) on Agribusinessat the Occupational Safety and Health Center on 16 April 2012 at 9:00 A.M.

The forum is part of a 7-leg forum on the Seven Big Winner Sectorsidentified by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce, in its Arangkada Report, launched in 2009. These sectors include (1) Agribusiness, (2) Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing, (3) Creative Industries, (4) Infrastructure, (5) Manufacturing and Logistics, (6) Mining, and (7) Tourism, Medical Travel, and Retirement.

A Public-Private Partnership Initiative

“In developing the Partnerships in Governance Forum, we wanted to create an alternative dialogue mechanism between the DOLE and the private sector, where both can mutually learn from their industry experiences, and communicate issues and concerns that may confront the industry,” said Executive Director Cynthia Cruz of the Institute for Labor Studies.

The Partnerships in Governance Forum (PGF) is part of the public-private partnership strategy of the DOLE under the Philippine Labor and Employment Plan 2011-2016.

“The Partnerships in Governance Forumserves as a venue to develop a model for self-regulation and for learning the nuances of the industries or sectors identified as Big Winners by the Joint Foreign Chambers in order that policies and programs be more responsive to the demands of the times,” emphasized Cruz.

Scheduled to talk about Human Resource Best Practices and Industry Trends in Agribusiness is Mr. Edgar Bullecer, Unifrutti Senior Vice President of Corporate External Relations.

“The forum goes beyond having a dialogue with business on policy reforms as it engages partners to talk about labor market governance initiatives such as industry-based approaches on self-regulation and the crafting of voluntary codes of good practice,” said Cruz.

Attending the Forum are heads of attached agencies, bureaus and services of the DOLE. Also invited to participate at the forum are representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Transportation and Communication, and Commision on Higher Education.

Agribusiness Headline Recommendations

Based on the JFC Arangkada report, 35% of the labor force is in agriculture and yet Philippine food exports account only for 5% of the ASEAN-6. Filipino farmers are burdened with high labor and domestic transport costs, and integration of small farms to larger enterprises is not as fast as it should be.

To strengthen the Agribusiness sector, the Report forwards the following recommendations:(1) New foreign trade agreements (FTAs) are needed to increase RP agricultural exports; (2) Lower cost of farm inputs; (3) Ramp up agricultural R&D, education, and training; (4) Update old and develop new agribusiness models; (5) Large corporate integrators should link small farmers to large markets; (6) CARP and limits of landholding should end in 2014; (7) Pass Farm Land as Collateral Act; and (8) Make the mandated lending policy in the Agri-Agra law optional.

The Institute for Labor Studies is the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment. It was created in July 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 257. Since its creation the Institute has always been at the forefront of labor and employment policy research and advocacy providing strategic policy research on employment, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue for the Department of Labor and Employment.

(For more information on this press release please contact Ms. LINARTES M. VILORIA, Chief Labor & Employment Officer, Advocacy & Publications Division, Institute for Labor Studies, Telephone Nos.: 5273490 / 5273447/ EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)  

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