A Philippine labor official believes the local economy can meet both social and environmental goals with the creation of green jobs, and that it behooves government itself to address this pressing need.
“The government supports the enactment of policies that address the current needs of the economy for the benefit of the present and future generations,” said Bernard Paul Mangulabnan, acting chief Labor and Employment Officer, Institute for Labor Studies, Department of Labor and Employment, at the recently concluded Barangay Walang Iwanan Summit.
“Today, the need lies in having more decent jobs available for our people, protecting our environment, and promoting ecological integrity. This is why we are helping to facilitate the creation of green jobs to achieve all these,” he said in a subsequent press statement
BWI Summit 2019 is a collaborative effort among leading non-profit organization Gawad Kalinga, French NGO ACTED, as well as the French discussion platform Convergences that aims to gather stakeholders to discuss and act on urgent social and environmental issues, transforming Filipino communities towards the 3Zero Philippines goal (Zero Exclusion, Zero Carbon, and Zero Poverty). Among the key topics discussed during the summit was the impact of Green Jobs and how it is being heavily promoted in the country.
Green jobs, according to the International Labour Organization, are “decent jobs that contribute to preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
In addition, ILO says green jobs are those that “help improve energy and raw materials efficiency, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimize waste and pollution, protect and restore systems, and support adaptation to the effects of climate change.”
The scant information about green jobs in the current Philippine labor market, in spite of the passage of the Green Jobs Act (Republic Act 10771) in 2016, may be an indicator of the urgency for employers in both the private and public sectors to ramp up the creation of these jobs. Despite the strong push towards green jobs, setting up the transition still poses challenges.
“The creation of green jobs is not a stand-alone policy. It involves a lot of factors, the environment, economy, society, educational and skills, among others. The structural changes will definitely be a challenge as production and consumption will be both affected,” said Gwyneth Palmos, ILO Consultant.
“The ILO has been providing support to enable the Philippine government, employers, workers and other stakeholders to transition into the greening of the economy and we are glad to see much progress in the country.”