DOLE calls for climate change action

Key Issues

The labor department is batting for stronger global action to mitigate climate change with the urgency of addressing its adverse impact on labor productivity, working conditions, and occupational safety and health.

In a ministerial statement delivered for Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III at the International Labor Conference in Geneva last week, Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad III said efforts at arresting climate change will redound to the benefit of workers.

Climate change exposes our workers and industries to challenging vulnerabilities. We cannot afford to adopt a 'business-as-usual' attitude because climate change continues to adversely transform the economic landscape and the labor market itself, Lagunzad said.

He said the Philippines has been implementing policies and programs towards protecting the workforce against climate change.

He told the conference that one of the notable initiatives undertaken by the country to mitigate the impact of climate change was the enactment of the Philippine Green Jobs Act.

This act promotes employment and assists in the transition to a green economy by giving incentives to environmentally-sustainable and standards compliant enterprises, he said.

Lagunzad also underscored the alignment of the Philippine Development Plan with the Sustainable Development Goals, which identify decent work as an important dimension of development.

Addressing the adverse impacts of climate change is a priority of the Philippine Government under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. The Eight-Point Labor and Employment Agenda of DOLE promotes sound business environment and recognizes that fostering industrial peace in the labor sector and protecting the environment are fundamental parts of the overall development effort, he said.

Our policy has always been to promote resiliency through sustainable development, he added.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Evan P. Garcia, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, stressed the link between climate change and human rights, including the right to work.

The impact of climate change exacerbates the conditions of those who are already in vulnerable situations. Efforts must continue to address the racial, social and economic inequities that climate change perpetuates, he said.