- Mr Lemuel Ortonio, Chief of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC), representing the Mayor Sara Duterte;
- Mr Edgardo Lacson, Chairperson of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP);
- Mr Donald Dee ,President of ECOP;
- Mr Ancheta Tan, Presidsent Emeritus of ECOP;
- Captain Go, President of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCI);
- Distinguished officials from the government, employers’ organizations, local chambers, and international community; and
- Colleagues from the ILO and the UN;
- Ladies and gentlemen, good morning to all of you!
This meeting is very timely and relevant for countries like the Philippines, considered as the third most disaster-prone country in the world. Climate change also presents an opportunity to look at a fair and just transition towards a greener, climate-resilient economy, which will require dialogue and combined efforts of the government, workers and employers.
More importantly, this meeting will also take into account resilience strategies and peacebuilding efforts. We are in Mindanao and we cannot leave behind decades of armed conflict and the impact of the crisis in Marawi.
Businesses, enterprises and its leaders play crucial roles in situations of conflicts and disasters. Your presence here is very important as we discuss the substantive role of employer and business membership organizations (EBMOs) in fragile conditions. Specifically, in contributing to disaster resilience strategies and peacebuilding efforts; and in crisis leadership and promoting investment in the recovery process.
This gathering will not be possible without the joint efforts of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCI), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the ILO’s Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP). Thank you for your continued support and commitment.
The ILO’s “Jobs for peace and resilience” (JPR) programme is one of the five flagship programmes under our current development cooperation strategy. It focuses on employment generation, especially for young people, in conflict affected and disaster prone countries, through skills training, enterprises development, and institutional capacity building. Based on the programme, the Bureau for Employers’ Activities of the ILO is developing new tools to support EBMOs and SMEs in building resilience in disaster and conflict zones.
In today’s high level meeting, representatives from the government, employers’ organizations, local chambers, private sector, and development partners, have gathered to discuss the challenges faced by enterprises, particularly SMEs, in conflict and disaster affected zones.
We are also here to discuss and to explore strategies and approaches that EBMOs can use to build resilience, for example, through potential public-private partnerships, as well as to promote peace, stability and increased investment and job creation in the region. Strengthening partnerships is also vital in promoting the new landmark standard, the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205).
Recommendation 205, adopted in this year’s International Labour Conference, provides a unique normative framework to prevent and to respond to the effects of conflicts and disasters on the world of work, economies and societies. It widens the focus on reconstruction and recovery to include prevention and preparedness. It also pays attention to children, youth, women, displaced and vulnerable people. Recommendation 205 will serve as guidance to policy, legislation and practice.
Business in the face of disaster and conflict will help set the context of this meeting. The first session will look at both international and Philippine setting, specifically Mindanao on disaster and conflict. This will be followed by panel discussions on the realities for businesses in Mindanao and the role that EBMOs could play in building a resilient future in Mindanao.
For the following day, there will be a technical validation workshop, which will be attended by SMEs, to test our new tools that are specifically designed to build resilience of SMEs in the face of disasters and to manage businesses in conflict settings.
These events offer a unique opportunity to understand how concretely EBMOs can help enterprises sustain and expand their operations and still generate decent and productive employment under fragile conditions.
From this, we hope to see recommendations that will feed into future dialogues towards the ILO’s overall strategy to strengthen the institutional capacity of business and employer organizations, specifically, with practical and pragmatic tools to help enterprises in the country.
I am very pleased to be here and to participate in this important discussion. By the end of the day, we will have a better understanding of possible ways forward for a more resilient Mindanao, and the role that both public and private sector actors can play in contributing to that.
Again thank you to ECOP, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc and UNISDR
I wish you all a productive and successful meeting and workshop.