UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK - At the 61st session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development, Undersecretary Carmela I. Torres of the Department of Labor and Employment stressed the importance of creating decent jobs and establishing social protection programs to overcome inequalities and accelerate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The current session is underway at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 06 February to 15 February 2023.
Delivering the Philippine statement, Undersecretary Torres shared with Member States the efforts of the Philippines to recover from the pandemic.
“The government of the Philippines moved quickly to help businesses and households by enacting economic stimulus measures and establishing programs to provide financial assistance, as well as to help workers by enacting emergency support programs and measures to increase job security,” Undersecretary Torres said.
She also said that in order to hasten recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic, the development of a labor market that is more inclusive, equitable, and flexible is essential.
To accomplish this, Undersecretary Torres said the Philippines “implemented policies and actions that encourage the expansion of employment, improved the quality of existing jobs, fostered equitable opportunities, and minimized inequalities.”
Undersecretary Torres also made reference to the three points in the 8-point Economic Agenda of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.: create more jobs, create quality jobs, and create green jobs. These are aligned with the theme of the meeting which is “Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all as a way of overcoming inequalities to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Undersecretary Torres reiterated the President’s call to development partners to support the Philippine Development Plan.
Undersecretary Torres said that the Philippines has employed integrated strategies to accelerate transition from informal to formal jobs. The Philippines has also put in place policies and procedures to address gender wage and pension inequities, as well as enable and support the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, notably women, in the labor market. She highlighted the government’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through continuous social dialogue.
Undersecretary Torres also moderated the high-level panel discussion on the priority theme and served as a panelist in the Ministerial Roundtable.
At the opening of the session, Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva, President of the Economic and Social Council, emphasized the importance of putting people first if the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are to be realized by the 2030 deadline.
“Putting people first means we must create opportunities for young people to accumulate knowledge and skills relevant for the labour market through education, training, and early work experience,” Ambassador Stoeva said.
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations, earlier briefed Undersecretary Ariel Rodelas Penaranda, Chargé d’affaires, a.i. Torres on Philippine engagement with the Commission for Social Development, as the Philippine Delegation took note of Philippine priorities for the session.
The Commission for Social Development advises the Economic and Social Council and Governments on a wide range of social policy issues and on the social perspective of development. It is the forum that looks into where the world is in terms of poverty eradication, social integration, full employment and on other social matters.