During the TGER-NERS Job Summit on May 1, Labor Day, employment recovery took center stage. The culmination of 18 sectoral consultations and three (3) pre-summit dialogues for workers and businesses, the activity served as a venue for high-level consultation and discussion with employer groups, the labor sector, government representatives, and other key stakeholders to address the employment problems in the country brought about by the pandemic.

The Bureau of Local Employment of the Department of Labor and Employment served as the secretariat for the Task Group on Economic Recovery (TGER) and National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) jointly organized activity, overseeing coordination between the 20 NERS Task Force member agencies, three (3) international development partner organizations, and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) which provided communications services for the activity. The event was conducted virtually through the provision of video conferencing facilities by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In his welcome remarks, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles honored the contributions of the Filipino workforce to the economy. He emphasized the importance of social dialogue for the country's wholesale and inclusive recovery, commending the TGER and NERS Task Force for the Summit's accomplishments towards this end.

The country directors of the NERS development partners: Kelly Bird of ADB, Khalid Hassan of the International Labour Organization, and Ndiamé Diop of the World Bank; each delivered messages of support for the TGER-NERS recovery schemes. They reaffirmed their commitment to extend assistance towards the country's recovery, pledging to maintain active support to the Philippines' program and policy interventions.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Secretary and NERS co-chairperson Isidro Lapeña recounted the journey to the Job Summit, the result of meaningful collaboration with over 500 employer and worker groups, and more than 2,000 participants. This was followed by the presentation of the outcome of the pre-summit activities: the Labor Sector Agenda and the Business Sector Agenda.

The Labor Sector Agenda was presented by Cong. Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza, President of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, and the Business Sector Agenda by Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The sectoral agendas contained the program and policy recommendations of the labor and employer groups towards inclusive employment recovery.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary and NERS chairperson Ramon Lopez presented the NERS 8-point Employment Recovery Agenda. The Php 1.12-trillion plan is expected to generate at least 220,000 jobs. The conduct of the Job Summit forms part of the agenda, emphasizing the Task Force's commitment to a whole-of-society approach in addressing the employment challenges of the pandemic.

In his keynote address delivered via pre-recorded video, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who was introduced to the body by DOLE Secretary and NERS co-chairperson Silvestre H. Bello III, expressed appreciation for the TGER and NERS Task Force for jointly organizing the summit. He hopes the summit inspires stronger cooperation among stakeholders so that the labor force is provided with more opportunities for their welfare and development.


Also present during the summit was Sec. Karl Kendrick Chua of National Economic Development Authority who presented the national government's recovery plan, ReCharge.PH, and Sen. Imee Marcos who detailed the legislative's response to the employment and economic agenda. Likewise in attendance were Sec. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. of the National Security Council, Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat of the Department of Tourism, and Sec. Leonor Briones of the Department of Education.