During the joint meeting of the Task Group on Economic Recovery (TGER) and the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) 2021-2022 Task Force last 4 March 2021, Labor Assistant Secretary and Concurrent BLE Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay presented the concept of a proposed whole-of-society Job Summit for employment recovery. The activity, slated for 1 May 2021, will bring together key National Government Agencies and relevant stakeholders (i.e., employers, workers, industry, academe) in a discourse focused on employment preservation and generation.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse impacts on the country’s economy, the Mid-Term Update of the Philippine Development Plan, 2017-2022 and ReCharge.PH refocused its goals towards a “healthy and resilient Philippines”. Under ReCharge.PH, the TGER and NERS Task Force work hand-in-hand, with a whole-of-society approach, in the development of a holistic employment recovery plan.

Part of this strategy is social dialogue between and among the government, employers, workers, and civil society to manage the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the workplace. It is on this juncture that the TGER and NERSTask Force propose the conduct of a Job Summitwith the objective to identify priority concerns of labor and employer groups, inform stakeholders of actions taken by the Government towards recovery, and provide an avenue to discuss areas of cooperation and collaboration among relevant stakeholders.

The summit will have three levels of dialogue, namely:(1) sectoral consultations; (2) pre-summit dialogues with workers and employers; and (3)the Job Summit Proper.

“The sectoral consultations demonstratethe ‘whole-of-society’ approach bygathering sectoral perspectives on how industries and workers are dealing with thepandemic,what preparations they’ve undertaken as the economy is gradually reopened,and what the government can do to support them,” explains Asec. Rubia-Tutay, “The pre-summit dialogues that follow will open up discussion of these issues and concerns, and what programs and policies can be put in place to address them.”

The Job Summit on Labor Day will serve as the culminating activity for the consultations and dialogues. Concrete policies and programs resulting from the discussions prior will be presented by the NERS Chairperson. The event will also feature the conferment of NERS Badges to private sector partners in recognition of their contribution to the country’s economic recovery.

In observance of health protocol restrictions, the Summit, and all activities leading up to it, will be conducted via online video conferencing.