The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), with support from Dutch Employers’ Cooperation Programme (DECP), will launch a program to enhance and improve the growth and effectiveness of its member-organizations, company members, and chapters and increase collaboration with local chambers of commerce.

ECOP, consistent with its mandate as the recognized and official umbrella organization of employers on labor and social policy issues, ensures its representative character by engaging with its constituents in the business community, including the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Particular focus is placed on MSMEs because they comprise 99.5 percent of all enterprises in the country and are responsible for 40 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). They also contribute 62.66 percent of the country’s employment. MSMEs are most vulnerable to economic crises and forced changes in the business environment.  They are adversely affected by external forces, including stiff competition, capital constraints, and political unrest. They often cannot afford the resources needed to meet compliance standards, invest in necessary infrastructure, or maintain good practices. In the face of all these, they nonetheless   contribute substantially to the economic growth of the country. Employers and business membership organizations (EBMOs), like ECOP, must continue to support them and provide the necessary technical assistance as they navigate the challenges.

ECOP has been meeting with local chambers of commerce to introduce its role, mandate and services; invite them to join ECOP as affiliate members and bring along a number of their corporate members as associate members, categories of memberships that are provided in the ECOP by-laws, based on a bundled scheme; and identify areas of possible partnerships. These local chambers of commerce have expressed keen interest in accessing ECOP’s services on training, capacity-building, lobbying and advocacy, and information-provision.

Previous collaborations between ECOP and DECP included the webinar series on “Embracing the New Normal: How to Survive the Pandemic and Thrive Through Digital Transformation,” which provided participants with a concrete understanding of the concept and practical action steps toward digitization and digitalization as they transition to new business models and adopt strategies to cope with the rapidly changing business environment. DECP will also assist ECOP in optimizing the “members only” domain of its website where important tools on compliance and human resources will be embedded as part of its direct services.