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Manila – The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) Acting Deputy Executive Director Patrick Patriwirawan, Jr. was the featured researcher of Saliksik for September 25, 2021 as livestreamed in their official Facebook account: SaliksikPhilippines.

Saliksik is an online crowdfunding platform that offers to jump-start research in any field and is exclusive to Filipino research projects and provides seed and supplemental funding for early-stage and seasoned researchers. The said platform also regularly features noted Filipino researchers in their spotlight titled “SalikSikat.”

Acting DED Patriwirawan, Jr. shared to the viewers that he had been with the Institute for eight years and had produced eight researches, producing one research each year. He discussed each of his eight researches recalling his very first output as assistant researcher for the study on grievance machinery, where he helped conduct focused group discussions with private establishments. The said study documented the best practices on handling grievances in the offices. He related that his solo research on his second year of employment would involve the review of Book 5 of Labor Codes on labor relations based on policy objectives and outcomes, and the policies issued related to labor relations, collective bargaining strikes and lockouts, and also grievance mechanisms.

When asked about the difference between researching for a private company and researching for a government agency, Acting DED Patriwirawan, Jr. admitted to funding source as a main difference, citing that one has to defend one’s research proposal to get private funding as compared to a government, where funding is secure, especially for an office mandated by law to conduct researches. He cited also the difference in ease of data gathering, as well as in utility for the said researches as the study is targeted as a basis for a government policy as opposed to business profits for researches done for private companies. He highlighted the importance of research-based policies on labor and employment to ensure that such policies are connected with current scenarios and are responsive to the needs of the public. He proceeded to mention the researches on labor and employment being undertaken by ILS under a decent work framework, and hence its researches on employment, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue, and research areas such as labor market governance and migration. He emphasized that to ensure meaningful interventions, one needs to look at the relationships of the employers, employees as well as the government, and also the labor and employment standards in place that are being agreed upon by the said parties He acknowledged that a lot of researches are still to be done on labor and employment such as effectiveness of the state of facilitation of employment services, rights at works, labor standards, particularly occupational health and safety standards, to ensure that government interventions are responsive to the needs of the labor market. He cited the case of telecommuting at this time of pandemic where a lot of employers have shifted into work-from-home arrangements, and where monitoring of labor standards are needed for workers to have conducive and safe working environment.

Acting DED Patriwirawan, Jr. also took the opportunity to share with the viewers about the 4th Industrial Revolution (IR)/Future of Work initiatives of the ILS to address the changing work landscape. He cited the Institute’s researches on Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) and platform work. In relation to the Institute’s response to the COVID19 pandemic, he also shared the ILS’ 2021 researches, especially on the subjects of telecommuting, mental health for BPO workers, and wage subsidy programs. He noted the importance of research in providing evidence toward the direction of the Future of Work that the country envisions.

At the end of the feature, Acting DED Patriwirawan, Jr. was asked about his most challenging research and the one that he is most proud of. He replied that it would have to be his first research on the Book 5 of Labor Codes citing that it was challenging to the extent that policy researches have political aspects and there were difficulties in advocating for its funding, but, at the same time, he was able to present it in an international conference.

He reiterated that research is always helpful at the individual, organizational, and societal levels, and will always be contributory to objectives that people have either for themselves or for a greater purpose.

The Institute’s participation in the SalikSikat program for the month of September coincided with the observance of September as the Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) through Malacañang Proclamation No. 247 dated September 02, 2002.