8 September 2020
“Employers shall strive to become 21st Century Employers to protect and preserve jobs, uphold the covenants of tripartism, and faithfully comply with prescribed health protocols,” Mr. Federico Marquez Jr., ECOP NCE41 Organizing Committee Chair, said as he read the Conference Resolutions of the recently concluded 41st National Conference of Employers (NCE) last 4 September 2020 via Zoom.
As the official employer organization in the country, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) envisions all employers across the country to take part in its ambitious goal of shaping a better future for business and work.
With the theme “The 21st Century Employer: Digital, Agile, and Resilient”, ECOP acknowledged its active role in developing national policies that would help ensure business sustainability and employment preservation, thus the Conference Resolutions.
“Businesses alone cannot effectively hurdle the challenges brought about by the pandemic. Philippine employers need the help and cooperation of the government, the labor groups, and other stakeholders to restart business operations to overcome the grave impact of COVID-19 and the ensuing harsh quarantine protocols,” Mr. Edgardo Lacson, ECOP Chairman, emphasized.
The Resolutions also highlighted that businesses, particularly the micro, small, and medium enterprises, around the world were seriously unprepared for the epidemical outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that shuttered the global economy.
“The implementation of quarantine protocols to prevent and control the spread of the virus radically impeded business operations, as employers face tough challenges in balancing operational issues with health and safety of workers,” ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said.
In the document, ECOP urged the government to craft quarantine policies that balance the need to protect life and livelihood such as follows:
- Reignite the economy and keep a healthy and resilient population;
- Adopt policy reforms for job creation and employment preservation;
- Accelerate roll-out of infrastructure for better internet connectivity;
- Institutionalize private sector participation in curriculum development and technical and vocational training;
- Streamline national emergency response and allow local government units to replicate the same;
- Provide stimulus packages for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs);
- Create an enabling policy and business environment to promote entrepreneurship, especially for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs;
- Provide safe and efficient public transportation and shuttle services for easier mobility for private-sector workers;
- Improve the healthcare system to ensure a healthy population, particularly all sector workers;
- Provide relief and incentives for businesses to recover losses;
- Increase government spending to induce demands in agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors;
- Assist companies in complying with labor standards and occupational safety and health measures; and
- Engage the private sector in social dialogue at all levels of policy- and decision-making processes.
The NCE, which ran from 30 June to 4 September, is an annual event which provides employers the opportunity to discuss amongst themselves, and with other stakeholders, key issues on employment, labor-management relations, and the general business climate.
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