Responsible Supply Chains and COVID-19

Opening address at the Online Training on International Labour Standards and CSR/Responsible Business Conduct for Current and Future Business Leaders

By Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Opening address at the Online Training on International Labour Standards and CSR/Responsible Business Conduct for Current and Future Business Leaders, 17 August 2020, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 17 August 2020
  • Ms Basuil and officials of the AIM Center for Corporate Responsibility;
  • Representatives from various enterprises and universities;
  • Colleagues, distinguished guests;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!
Welcome and thank you for joining this week-long virtual training on Corporate Social Responsibility.

Current and future business leaders play a key role to ensure responsible business conduct and corporate social responsibility. Strengthening knowledge and understanding on corporate social responsibility/responsible business conduct is critical for leaders or CSR focal points like you in your respective enterprises. University students whom we regard as future business leaders play vital roles as well.

For business leaders, promoting values, CSR/RBC standards, and influencing business practices in your respective enterprises are essential. For future business leaders, you will carry on a similar role in the years to come when you become business leaders yourselves.

In ensuring responsible business standards, you are in a vantage position of promoting to your respective enterprises the principles of the MNE Declaration or the ILO Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy.

A copy of the MNE Declaration has been shared ahead of this training. Recommendations in the MNE Declaration are rooted in international labour standards.

Adherence of enterprise to the MNE Declaration principles is essential particularly in the context of foreign direct investment and trade, and the use of the global supply chains.

Global supply chains contribute significantly to economic growth, job creation, entrepreneurship and poverty reduction. At the same time, global supply chains confront challenges on production, and issues related to labour rights, environment and human rights.

In most recent times, adherence to the MNE Declaration principles is seen critical within the context of COVID 19, with its threat to employers and workers.

The world of work is being profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not just a global health crisis but also a labour and economic crisis.

The ILO calls for urgent and significant policy responses to protect both enterprises, and workers. Large-scale, integrated, policy measures are needed, focusing on four pillars: stimulating the economy and jobs; supporting enterprises, employment and incomes; protecting workers in the workplace including occupational safety and health; and, using social dialogue between government, workers and employers to find solutions.

Several actions within these four pillars have been undertaken by the Philippine government, different employers and other stakeholders.

With the employers group, a lot of initiatives have been taken to support their workers and those within their supply chains and some of these initiatives will be shared with you as part of this training.

I hope that through this training, you will be more inspired and better equipped with knowledge and the necessary tools and guidance you can refer to that would help you wade your way while confronting the challenges of promoting decent work particularly in times of COVID-19 .

I look forward to your strong and continued support even after this training. It is by working together that we can achieve sustainable and inclusive growth through decent work and responsible business conduct. This is a key step in building a better future of work.

Thank you!