Freeport Area of Bataan
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is using a new assessment tool that will help identify which export industries generate “decent” work or the most job opportunities, while also facilitating exporters’ compliance with EU norms.
DTI- Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Director Senen M. Perlada said in an interview with BusinessWorld that the DTI has adopted a toolkit that emerged from the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) “Strengthening the Impact of Trade on Employment” (STRENGTHEN) Project.
“If we’re able to increase our exports, especially our manufacturing exports, that’s directly related to employment… the toolkit gives us a basis so we can identify sectors that are high potential for employment,” he said.
ILO’s STRENGTHEN project aims to assist policy makers in creating blueprints to improve job generation through strengthened trade policies. Part of the project is a toolkit that will evaluate the effects of trade on job generation.
Mr. Perlada said that the toolkit will help both big and small businesses especially since the ILO project, which is in partnership with the European Union, will allow them to comply with EU standards and provide decent work for employees.
“It will help lead us to which sectors are really providers of decent work… by being able to comply with the provisions of the EU, we are able to ensure decent work for more people,” he said.
Mr. Perlada said that DTI has initially identified such sectors using the toolkit. One of them is the coconut industry.
“Through the value chain, literally everything from the coconut is useful. All the way to the distribution, from the edible to non-edible… we would really like to be able to promote more of those sectors that provide those kinds of employment especially if (the job) doesn’t need higher education,” he said.
He said the DTI hopes to identify the types of exporters that generate decent work or additional employment.
“The toolkit is used as a model to calculate, let’s say for example: supposed I increased my export of virgin coconut oil by two containers a month, what does that mean in terms of additional employment?” Mr. Perlada.
The STRENGTHEN project was first implemented in the Philippines in 2016. The project was undertaken in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE); National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); and other stakeholders and local government units (LGUs). — Gillian M. Cortez