Past webinars:

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #1: FLEX AND TELECOMMUTE IT! (26 August 2020 at 02:00pm)
Alternative work schemes for employment preservation amid a pandemic

 

The concept and implementation of Flexible Work Arrangement (FWAs) was initially introduced by DOLE in 2009 to assist and guide employers and employees in times of economic difficulties and national emergencies. The adoption of FWAs is considered as a better alternative than the outright termination of employees or the total closure or establishment. The said arrangements have been recently reiterated under Labor Advisory 9, 11, and 17, series of 2020, in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. Notably, Section 3, of Labor Advisory No. 17 lists the Work from Home (WFH) or Telecommuting Arrangement under RA 11165 as a mode of employment preservation Of the permissible FWAs, the most commonly used is the utilization of Forced Leaves where employees are required to go on leave for several days or weeks utilizing their leave credits. If the leaves have been fully exhausted, then the employees will have to suffer the ‘no work, no pay’ condition.

If the business is unable to operate, most employers are resigned to terminate their employees based on Authorized Causes as provided under the Labor Code. Though commonly used in the case of security guards , and BPO workers, the concept of placing the employees on a six-month ‘floating’ status is another labor-saving device that has been exhausted by many employers across sectors to save jobs. During the six-month hiatus while the employer is trying to rebuild, those placed under floating status shall be slowly eased-in to their former designations as soon as the business is able to absorb them back without loss of seniority or diminution of benefits.

This should prompt the employers to create opportunities to save their employees instead of terminating their current roster and hiring new employees to fill the void, which will likely result to additional training costs. The termination and re-hiring process may also possibly be abused by employers who wish to avoid the payment of statutory benefits for their employees or place them under ‘no work, no pay’ since they have not earned leave credits yet. The said webinar will also focus on identifying gaps and suggesting policy intervention to alleviate these gaps, while promoting social justice for all workers.

Advocating the FWAs at the time of the pandemic, allows for the spread of job opportunities for all affected employees until normal business operations resume to its usual capacity. Educating both employers and employees about these feasible arrangements will result in the continued protection of the workers’ rights and the promotion of their welfare, utilizing the available resources to equip the workforce.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #2: BREAKING BARRIERS: Skills and tips to navigate the digitalized workplace (02 September 2020 at 02:00pm)

 

In the light of the continuing pandemic, most businesses have unfortunately ceased their operations to reasonably mitigate and prevent continuing business losses. According to data shared by the Department of Trade and Industry as of April 29, 2020 , 52.66 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) fully stopped or closed their operations due to the health crisis.

As a result, it is inevitable for an employee to be laid-off due to redundancy or retrenchment. Thus, it is incumbent that we empower displaced workers using available resources to shift to job opportunities that are available online. For more than 10 years, the private and public sector has made use of online technology and other interactive forms of media to post job openings and to source out talent to whom they can farm out jobs.

Outsourcing online jobs is a novel concept as it provides autonomy to both parties to engage in a substantial contract to perform a service. More so, this telecommuting arrangement provides both parties sovereignty of time and space to fulfill their respective duties and deliver them on-time beyond the four corners of a regular office setting. Ideally, as the country is inevitably thrust into the 4th Industrial Revolution, this set-up is part and parcel of the Future of Work and would be most beneficial to both employers and employees as we continue to earn a living while observing social distancing protocols.

Though most technologically capable companies, such as BPOs, are able to provide infrastructure and technical support to their employees so that they can continue to perform their official functions, some members of the workforce may not be so fortunate as most of them may not have such advanced means.

Currently pending in Congress is Senate Bill 1469 or the National Digital Careers Act, principally authored by Senator Sonny Angara which aims to promote the development of digital careers in the country and equip Filipinos with the skills needed to avail of these jobs to foster the continued growth of the so-called “Gig-Economy”.

The Gig Economy refers to the practice of companies of hiring short-term, independent contractors or freelancers. Jobs available to these freelancers usually fall under the umbrella of digital careers and in most instances the work is done outside of the office and payment is made based on output and fulfillment of deliverables.

There are also freelance jobs that have become staples in the Philippine setting such as those in Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) system, food delivery and courier services, and even home sharing.

In 2019, Forbes ranked the Philippines sixth among the fastest growing markets for freelancers, with a 35 percent income growth from the previous year.

Considering the resilient Filipino spirit amid the pandemic, it is imperative for us to provide guidance and empower members of the workforce, even those with the most minimal of means, to explore the myriad of job opportunities that are available online. Work opportunities such as but not limited to writing, accounting, desk research, digital marketing, content creation, courier service, and graphic and web design.

It must also be gainsaid that in promoting available jobs online, safety and protection of the working man must always be the top priority and must not be compromised nor put to risk. Echoing the ILS Forum which was conducted last October 2019, titled “Stepping into the Platform: How the Gig Economy changes the way we work” – it is high time to open the discussion to a greater audience and provide them an chance to seize a prospective opportunity to engage the Gig Economy as we inform them of the basics on how they can transition to become a virtual professional.
The target participants of the webinar series will include tripartite partners and stakeholders to represent employers, employees, and the government. The webinar may likewise accommodate members of the academe, as well as other policy makers in the field of health, labor and employment who wish to participate in the discussion, those who have ideas and suggestions with respect to emerging trends and technologies in the field of labor and employment.

It can be opened as well to other interested parties who would like to participate and apply their prospective learnings to enable them to take an active part in raising awareness and help channel various ILS advocacies within their respective communities.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #3: ZOOMBA AT IBA PA FOR SENIOR CITIZENS: Making the digital world age-inclusive (08 September 2020 at 09:30am)

 

During this period of pandemic, the elderly are among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, hence they are asked to stay home. Not discounting the importance of physical distancing as a preventive measure, experts warn that this may lead to social isolation and loneliness. The only means to communicate with relatives and friends is through digital technology. Although senior citizens consistently have lower rates of technology adoption than the general public, there are increasing opportunities for them to be more digitally connected. Even if they face unique barriers, they can become adept at adopting and using new technologies with proper skills training. This is undoubtedly possible considering the positive outlook of most senior citizens to engage themselves in this platform.

For the elderly, high-tech devices can make daily tasks easier and can enhance quality of life. Advances in technology now allow individuals to communicate effectively with their loved ones wherever they may be. Modern camera capabilities, smartphone and tablet apps, and user-friendly access make it easier for the elderly to maintain contact with other people. Furthermore, video chatting has become a great way to foster social connection among senior citizens who may not have as many opportunities to talk to others. Many senior citizens have active social media accounts. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have helped them keep in touch with their children, grandchildren and friends. For family members, social media is also a great way to keep tabs on how elderly family members are coping. With the growing popularity of live videos, family members can get real-time updates on what their elders are doing nowadays.

Age by itself is not a barrier to using digital technologies. Limited opportunities to enhance technology literacy, poor infrastructure, and income inequalities may also contribute to substantial differences in technology adoption for senior citizens. This webinar is therefore proposed to tackle opportunities and challenges relating to equitable access of senior citizens to digital technologies and identify areas for action toward harnessing opportunities for them.

Target webinar participants will be staff from ILS and other DOLE offices. CSOs supporting senior citizens’ welfare will also be invited. Given the limitation in the number of Zoom meeting participants, the webinar may also be shared through the ILS’ Facebook page to maximize reach.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #4: HARMONY IN THE WORLD OF WORK: Dispute Resolution Strategies for the New Normal (16 September 2020 at 02:00pm)

 

Generally, the webinar aims to look at existing dispute resolution mechanisms and the challenges that may have occurred during COVID-19 pandemic, especially that most employers and employees are in remote arrangement and to explore strategies on how to navigate dispute resolutions in the ‘new normal.’ Specifically, it aims for the following:

(1) Discuss the dynamics of the Philippine Labor Dispute Resolution (LDR) system and mechanisms both in theory and in practice;

(2) Identify the LDR trends in the country;

(3) Identity bottlenecks that may have occurred in dispute resolution/s during COVID-19 pandemic, especially that most employers and employees are in remote arrangement; and

(4) Explore strategies on how to navigate dispute resolutions in the new normal.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #5: Bridging Work in the New Normal: Towards Crisis-Responsive Employment Services (30 September 2020 at 02:00pm)

 

With over 100 thousand companies either closing down or reducing their workforce because of the pandemic, the incomes of more than three (3) million workers in the formal sector have been either permanently or temporarily, trimmed down to zero.1 Consistently, in July 2020, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has reported an unemployment rate of 10 percent, which translates to around 4.6 million unemployed persons in the Philippines. This undeniably shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has and continue to wreak havoc to the state of the labor market, leaving millions of Filipinos with either significantly reduced income or without jobs. With the increase in the numbers of unemployed persons in the Philippines and considering the movement restrictions to reduce the risk of viral transmission, how will providers of local employment facilitation services attune itself to the new normal and effectively carry out its intrinsic objective of bridging jobseekers to work opportunities?

This webinar specifically aims to discuss how employment services have been affected by the pandemic, and explore how these can be transformed, and adjusted, to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and even future crises.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #6: BETWEEN RESILIENCE & TRANSFORMATION: Understanding ‘workers-powered’ mental health care (8 October 2020 at 09:30am)

 

There is a different pandemic perhaps quite as worrisome as COVID-19 but has drawn relatively fewer- albeit growing- attention: that of loneliness, anxiety and collective trauma. In the Philippines, one of the largest mental health associations reported that calls received through its hotline since mid-March 2020 have steeply increased, involving many workers in their 20s and 30s who need emotional and psychiatric support. The reasons may not yet be definitive, but they prove to be significant.

The crisis caused by the global coronavirus outbreak, for one, changed the way we work. From an 8-hour workday in a typical office, many began setting up their workplace within the bounds of their homes and crossing the line that separates work and leisure. Such form of remote work (aka telecommuting) may have been useful to some in ordinary times, and yet to many it has been difficult on several fronts in the context of a crisis where people feel more and more isolated and immobilized. Others have resumed operations under the same old labor configurations, except for the ‘new-normal’ fact that they now have to constantly wear face shields and face masks at work and cater to clients in reduced capacities in order to guarantee some level of safety. To those who were not that lucky enough, their loss of jobs or livelihoods has added tremendous pressure on keeping their families afloat in a widening sea of uncertainty.

This webinar session seeks to discuss the huge mental health challenge exacerbated by COVID-19. Through the lens of resilience and transformation, it aims to identify and analyze both the individual mental health issues facing workers and the environmental factors that shape their broader experience of wellbeing and dignity. It will also provide a platform to determine concrete actions that are not only centered on but also ‘powered’ by workers. In the final analysis, the coronavirus crisis has unraveled one unmistakable truth: we are still far from a mental health care system that allows people to define why they suffer and how they suffer, as well as decide on what can make them suffer less. This webinar is a step in that direction.

The results of this webinar, particularly the workshop portion, will feed into the findings of the ILS research entitled “Study on Workplace Mental Health responses for BPO Workers amid the COVID-19 Crisis.”

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #7: PURSUIT OF A JUST SOCIETY: Introducing Wage Subsidies and Basic Income Guarantees in the Philippines (14 October 2020 at 09:30am)

 

This webinar aims to provide a venue to discuss the prospects of a transformative social protection that will not only become a pathway to economic recovery but will rather address deep inequalities and will help build a just and cohesive society.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #8: #KeepKidsSafe: Advancing Efforts to Fight Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) (06 November 2020 at 09:30am)

 

The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines child labor as work done by children that degrades their mental, physical, social, and moral development. By performing dangerous work, children are robbed of their childhood, dignity and potential contribution to society (ILO, n.d.). In the Philippines, child labor has been a long-standing and intractable issue. In fact, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported around 2.1 million child laborers in the country as of 2011. Of which, 58.4 percent are performing hazardous tasks in agriculture, 34.6 percent in services and 7 percent in industry. It is worth noting that the prevalence of child labor is attributed to poverty, lack of education, and scarcity of decent work opportunities for parents.

With the spread of COVID-19, everyone was mandated to stay at home, especially children. However, this did not alleviate the country’s struggle with child labor. On the contrary, children are one of the firsts to suffer the negative impacts of this pandemic. Recently, companies have announced retrenchments due to business loses. As parents lose their jobs, children may be forced to work in order to augment the family’s income. Children who are already working may take up even longer hours and heavier work (United Nations, 2020).

Moreover, one of the worst forms of child labor had an exponential increase because of the imposition of lockdowns. The DOJ underscored 279,166 cases of Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) from March 1 to May 24 in 2020. This is a far cry from 76,561 reported cases in the same period last year. The surge is attributed to the increased usage of internet at home. Worse, in most cases, the online traffickers are close family members of the children (Pulta, 2020). Family members who perpetuate OSAEC often excuse their behavior by viewing these online offenses as less harmful than contact ones. Nevertheless, they fail to see that existence and proliferation of OSAEC materials online tend to re-traumatize and re-victimize children long after the act has been committed (International Justice Mission, 2020).

According to the 2018 Report on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, young girls in the Philippines are trafficked domestically from rural areas to urban centers and tourist areas for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Children are forced to perform sexual acts in front of the camera for online paying customers. These illicit crimesusually happen in small internet café, private homes, or dungeon like buildings called cybersex den. Based on the findings from International Justice Mission Philippines (IJM), the median age of OSAEC victim is 12. However, exploitation of infants to pubescent children also exists in the dark web.

Ending child labor, including its worst forms, is enshrined under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022. One of the strategic targets under the Pagbabago Pillar is the reduction of child labor incidence by 30 percent. To reach this target, there is a need to implement holistic and multi-sectoral approaches. The IJM has noted that there is dearth of information on OSAEC in the Philippines. Thus, one of the important recommendations is to encourage OSAEC-related data owners, academics, technology designers, and OSAEC experts to collaborate in increasing global knowledge about this issue. It is in this regard that the ILS seeks to contribute to this fight by trailblazing a webinar on good practices and initiatives to improve the country’s ability to protect children online. This activity will highlight various interventions being done by the national government, local government units, and civil society organizations.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

revive-and-thrive-webinar-9
REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #9: More than rhetoric: Policy directions toward a world of work free from violence and harassment (19 November 2020 at 09:30am)

The country’s problem on violence and harassment – be it in the private or public sector, formal or informal economy – is a serious health and safety concern with costs at multiple levels of society and wide-ranging effects to an individual’s dignity. While many people are aware of the existence of violence and harassment at work, not all can easily voice out their concerns or can recognize its implications on work productivity.

While there are certain Philippine policies that institutionalize measures to address violence and harassment, such as the recently passed Safe Spaces Act and the Mental Health Law, the problem on violence and harassment in the world of work persists be a harsh reality for many workers locally and overseas. Monitoring and reporting remain to be a challenge as it is complaint-driven. Often than not, this concern is a result of intersecting risk factors that are deeply rooted in gender-based forms of power and control manifested in all sectors, jobs and occupations.

During the International Labour Conference in 2019, governments, workers’ and employers’ groups have adopted the first standards, namely the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 206), on ending the bane of various forms of violence and harassment plaguing workers worldwide. The Philippines is one of the countries that expressed its support for the framework that sets out a clear roadmap for preventing and addressing these problems. This contributes to Goal No. 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is closely linked to the goal of eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work in terms of ending discrimination, promoting equality and extending economic security.

The risks of physical, psychological, sexual and/or economic violence and harassment have been considerably heightened with the ongoing national crisis. It has been noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated gender stereotypes and disproportionate impacts mostly to vulnerable groups like women, children, LGBTIQ community, migrant workers, PWDs, and indigenous peoples that may lead to the spike in violence and harassment. This is an ill-fated feature of this crisis and is a challenge to our values and shared humanity. Therefore, the COVID-19 crisis presents an imperative to pursue more relevant policies to effectively and meaningfully respond to violence and harassment in the world of work. More than ever, we need to challenge structural factors that enable this unfortunate plight of women and other vulnerable workers.

Given these, it is an opportune time to revisit the regulatory frameworks on violence and harassment, as well as the policy actions that are urgently required. This webinar aims to provide a venue to galvanize attention and further stimulate public conversations on the need for more inclusive policies and programs to prevent violence and harassment in the world of work, as well as to provide effective support mechanisms for survivors. This is only not a significant consideration during and the period after the outbreak, but also in shaping a sustainable recovery in the face of future crises.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).

REVIVE & THRIVE: ILS COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES

Webinar #10: Sustainable societies: Pathways to inclusive and ecologically responsible development (15 December 2020 at 10:00 am)

 

The coronavirus crisis is unlike any other. Public health systems worldwide have scrambled to avoid collapse. Broader economic and social systems meanwhile have been seriously disrupted. Pre-pandemic inequities in society have been magnified and exacerbated. As COVID-19 rages on, its wide range of impacts become increasingly worse for those in vulnerable and fragile situations. Governments have therefore been tested by the sudden and sheer challenge of this crisis. In the Philippines, government talks on recovery have begun. The Duterte administration has started easing restrictions on economic activities and peoples’ mobility in June, in an attempt to cushion a possibly deeper economic downturn. However, most talks tend to focus on repeated strategies and miss other possibilities.

In this webinar series, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) strives to take the public discourse on post-pandemic recovery to new frontiers. COVID-19 makes us realize that it is not enough to just survive. To overcome this crisis better, we need to take bolder actions to revive what has been lost or damaged—and to thrive on a decent future of work built on the principles of systemic resilience, equity, justice and solidarity.

About the Webinar Series:

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has prepared a 10-part webinar series titled, “Revive & Thrive: ILS COVID-19 Webinar Series, Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19”.

Webinars started 26th of August. The duration of the webinar is usually two hours (2h).