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Manila – Two labor and employment officers from Institute for Labor Studies represented the Department of Labor and Employment in the 6th International Conference on Social Sciences with the theme “Empowered humanity: Making knowledge, innovation, and progress accessible to all,” last September 26 at Seri Pacific Hotel, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,

Senior Labor and Employment Officer John Emmanuel B. Villanueva and Labor and Employment Officer III Marc Raphael A. Peñaredondo, both from the Employment Research Division of the Institute, teamed up to present the 2018 ILS study titled, “Labor and employment governance in a Federal Philippines: A Policy Delphi-Survey Study.”

Their participation is in line with the Institute’s continuing effort to widen the reach of its policy advocacy campaign both locally and internationally. The International Research Conference brought together representatives from different countries across all continents in the world, with representatives from 16 countries from the following continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia/ Oceania. Mr. Villanueva and Mr. Peñaredondo were the only Filipinos who presented during the event, but it is worthy to note that a distinguished Filipino academician, Dr. Emma Porio, a full-time professor (and former Chairperson) at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU), served as the Keynote Speaker for the duration of the conference.

The “Policy Dephi” study aimed to provide guidance for the Department and other concerned policy/decision makers in delineating labor and employment governance within the context of a ‘Federal Philippines’ by categorizing areas of authority under the following structure: (a) exclusive responsibility of the federal government; (b) exclusive responsibility of the regional governments; and (c) shared responsibility between the two levels of government. The ‘Policy Delphi’ approach as a method mobilized concerned stakeholder groups at the national level, as well as the conduct of a stakeholder perception survey to gather and examine the perspectives of tripartite representatives at the regional level, as a whole.

Results yielded a common ground for the pursuance of good governance principles while balancing economic and political considerations across national and regional tiers. The research also urged policy decision makers to give due course to the informed preferences presented by all the respondents. Part of the research recommendations, which zeroes in livelihood, emergency employment, and programs for Vulnerable Workers likewise support the prospect of devolving this responsibility to regional governments to provide a faster, more efficient, and sustainable mode of service delivery to directly address the immediate employment needs of our workers.

The annual conference, which was sponsored by the International Institute of Knowledge Management, aims to provide an international platform to facilitate discussions on key areas of Social Sciences domain. The ultimate goal is to afford alternative visions for social empowerment and developing innovative solutions to developmental deficits through academic and policy research.