The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) held its Seminar on the Basics of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) at the Labor Governance Learning Center, Blas Ople Hall, Intramuros, Manila last October 9, 2015.
The event was attended by representatives from Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) and DOLE Legal Service.
“We are anticipating a lot of opportunities for trade coming to the country, particularly because of increasing regionalization and integration. It is therefore necessary for us at the DOLE to enhance our capacity in assessing employment effects of free trade agreements,” DOLE Assistant Secretary Katherine Brimon said in her opening remarks.
DTI Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo and Mr. Jose Sandoval of the Employment Service, Program and Management Division of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) served as resource persons during the seminar.
Asec. Rodolfo presented the Philippine trade negotiations agenda where he established the link between industry development and trade policy.
“The Philippines should not neglect the local industry development. It is good that there are now parallel efforts for both local and international trade development. The Philippines, therefore, pursues a strategic framework which will lead the way for industry competitiveness and unified trade agenda through communication, advocacy and capacity building.”
“For trade, economic, and development reasons, we should also consider opening up our services sectors especially those that are critical to national development.”
Sandoval, on the other hand, presented the principles and rules under the GATS as well as an overview of the current trade agreements that the country has entered into and their implications to employment.
The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) is the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment. For more information about ILS products and services, please visit: http://ils.dole.gov.ph or call Advocacy and Publications Division at tel.no. 527-3490.