Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said at the 1st Philippine Green Jobs Conference that policies favoring or promoting green jobs creation is one good employment strategy.
“It is a fact that employment levels in the country have not expanded sufficiently despite substantial economic growth. The argument in favor of green jobs is that new demand for labor from green investments will expand job opportunities,” she said.
Secretary Baldoz explained that the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 and its sectoral plan for labor and employment, the Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) 2011-2016, set priorities and directions in favor of the environment and green jobs. She also cited Executive Order No. 26 that harmonizes and consolidates all the country’s greening efforts under a National Greening Program and Proclamation No. 125 proclaiming 2011 as the National Year of Forests. Both issuances were signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
“The LEP, for example, calls for improving employment levels by developing and harmonizing green programs and is very emphatic on enhancing efficiency and productivity. We believe these can be achieved through the development and implementation of green programs, as well as through the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns,” she said.
She cited the DOLE’s Green Our DOLE Program (GODP) which she said seeks to empower the department and its family or agencies as “agents of green change” in the country by, first, equipping each DOLE officials and employees with the knowledge, skills, and behavioral capacity to actively involve themselves in green workplace productivity programs, and second, implementing green principles and strategies in all DOLE programs, projects, and services down to the grassroots level.
She enumerated some ongoing DOLE green initiatives, such as tree-planting activity of the DOLE-NCR last July 29 along C6 Road in Taguig City, which attracted 800 participants from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and City of Taguig. The activity, held in partnership with the Industrial Tripartite Council (ITC) in Cargo Handling, saw 1,500 banaba seedlings planted along the sidewalks of the busy highway.
In Region 12, Baldoz mentioned the DOLE’s P800,000-vermi-cast organic fertilizer production project in Brgy. Tokawal, Alabel, Saranggani Province, which now employs 25 workers, and the p326,000-charcoal briquette production in Brgy. Libas, Tantangan, South Cotabato which benefits 37 self-employed persons.
Baldoz said that the DOLE, through the GODP, is actively collaborating with other government agencies and its tripartite partners in the National Greening Program as mandated by President Aquino III to ensure biodiversity and food security to address the problems on climate change and poverty reduction.