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Manila – The Institute for Labor Studies, in partnership with the DOLE Planning Service (PS) and the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), led the Sectoral Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) for Workers: Informal Sector, Women, Youth, & Platform Workers via the Zoom platform last April 15.

The said FGD is a component of the more comprehensive Joint Task Group on Economic Recovery (TGER) and National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) 2021-2022 Task Force Job Summit, in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Labour Organization (ILO), and The World Bank (WB) and runs from April to May of 2021.

DOLE Undersecretary Ana C. Dione delivered the Welcome Remarks, followed by the presentation of the speakers: Mr. Felix Weidenkaff of the International Labour Organization (ILO) who discussed “Global Perspectives on the Employment Impact of the Pandemic on Workers and the ILO’s Policy Framework for Recovery;” Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on the topic “National Perspective on the Employment Impact of the Pandemic on Workers, and the Philippine Government’s Policy Framework for Economic Recovery;” Country Director for the Philippines Mr. Kelly Bird of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the topic “Philippines Labor Market: Challenges & Strategies;” and Mr. JC Lapiz of BLE’s Labor Market Information, Research and Career Guidance Division who presented the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) 2021-2022.

An Open Forum was held prior to the breakout sessions for the FGDs. This was followed in the afternoon by the plenary presentations of the highlights of each FGD session.

The discussions were meant to address policy and program questions such as the following: “What assistance/interventions would the workers need to be able to productively participate in economic and employment recovery efforts of the priority sectors identified?;” “What could be the sector’s inputs and suggestions on what should be the priorities and recommended measures (including policies and programs) under the NERS for productive employment and decent work?” The FGDs also delved into areas of cooperation and collaboration among tripartite partners and brought to light various aspects of building back better and greener for the nation’s continuous recovery efforts.

The output of the FGDs will feed into the pre-Summit Dialogue set for April 22, which will be the avenue for presentation and discussion of the consolidated issues, concerns, and policy and program interventions gathered.

In turn, the pre-summit dialogues outputs are expected to enflesh the following: a. Sectoral Situationer on the effects of the pandemic; b. Priority issues and concerns that needs to be addressed in the short-term, medium-term, and long-term; c. Program and policy recommendations to help employment recovery in the pandemic; d. Areas of cooperation and collaboration among tripartite partners; and e. Strategies and commitments on job generation and employment recovery.

The Jobs Summit will happen on May 1 and will be the culminating activity for the previously conducted Sectoral Consultations and Pre-Summit Dialogues. It will also feature the conferment of the “NERSBadge”and Presidential Citation (proposed) in recognition of the private sector’s contribution to the country’s economic recovery.