The Labor Department is coming up with new and creative ways to keep industrial peace.
On the occasion of its 76th anniversary, DOLE has thought of something mutually beneficial for workers and employers, and universally acceptable to the rest of society—planting trees.
Dubbed the “Tree-partite Treat,” the tree planting is a major part of the “Climate-smart @ 76” anniversary celebration of DOLE at the La Mesa Eco Park in Fairview, Quezon City.
“Through this endeavor, we do not only express our love and care for environment, we also plant the seeds of understanding, cooperation and partnership at the workplace,” said Labor Secretary Marianito Roque.
The tree planting is a departure from the traditional anniversary celebrations of the DOLE done in the historic Intramuros.
“We want to commune with nature and spur greater consciousness for the advocacy of Green Jobs and Green Workplaces within the department and with our social partners,” Roque added.
The DOLE initiated the planting of 76 cupang seedlings, a species of trees resistant to all types of weather and endemic to the Philippines, representing the 76 years of DOLE.
The Climate Smart @ 76 campaign was launched to build the adaptive capacity of the DOLE, its social partners and its clientele to the impacts of climate change.
“Climate change is one of the more current topics being discussed today, not only in the light of the recent typhoons—Pepeng and Ondoy, but because of its secondary effect on people,” said Roque.
The immediate impact of Climate Change is seen in rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions, resource depletion and destruction of biodiversity. Secondary and consequent impacts are felt in the human systems such as industrial processes, human health, human settlements, industrial processes, infrastructure, transportation, energy supply and demand and agriculture - as they drive and source from the ecosystem.
“Employment is one of those severely affected by climate change that’s why there’s a lot of discussion now in international organizations on this issue,” Roque added.
Adjusting to climate change means among others, reducing the release of greenhouse gases in the air, causing less pollution and implementing energy-efficient schemes in the workplace.
“This will spur technical innovation and market expansion or diversification which, in turn, will generate new business opportunities, and therefore, create jobs – green jobs,” he added.
“Being climate-smart means being in. It means being able to adjust to recent developments in our climate so that our workforce can adjust as well. From the labor perspective we need to adjust our standards in accordance with the demands of climate change,” he added.
Green Workplace advocacy
“We want to start greening our workplaces to increase workers’ productivity, ensure occupational safety and health, and promote decent work. We want a workplace that is environmentally sensitive, resource efficient and socially responsible,” Roque said.
To jumpstart the Department’s advocacy, it has begun its greening efforts at home, right within its premises, with an Eco-Audit meant to gauge the green compliance of its offices. In the coming weeks, DOLE will be mapping green industries to identify green jobs. This will culminate with a National Green Jobs Conference in 2010.
DOLE’s Climate-smart @ 76 celebration coincides with the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
Linartes M. Viloria
Institute for Labor Studies, Department of Labor and Employment
Contact Nos.: (02) 5273490/5273452 / Fax: (02) 5273491