Gov’t, private sectors address impact of Industry 4.0

Highlighting the importance of tripartism in addressing transformations in the world of work, the labor department gathered representatives from the government, labor and employer sectors, and the media to address the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0.

Organized by the Bureau of Local Employment, a forum on the Fourth Industrial Revolution was held last week at the Century Park Hotel to serve as a platform to discuss the attributes and its nature, impact on the labor market, and how the Philippine government and the private sectors are responding and adapting to such changes.

The forum is in agreement with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s call during the 108th Session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland to assert the importance of human-centered labor agenda as well as tripartism and social dialogue in crafting specific policy responses amid transformations in the world of work.

Acting Secretary Ana Dione emphasized that the government is continuously exerting efforts to attain and sustain a competitive workforce that support and complement the demands of the ever-changing landscape of work.

“In an integrated, global and digital economy, the capability of a country to respond to the economic changes would determine its level of competitiveness which is enabled by a capable human capital that is built through sound education, training and human resource development policies,” she said.

Program Officer Dianne Lynn Respall of the International Labour Organization (ILO) discussed the characteristics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and their human-centered agenda in responding to changes in the world of work.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) presented the government initiatives and responses amid technological advancements that alter the world of work.

Director Maria Teresita Semana of CHED said that that they are harmonizing their program offerings with the need of the industries, adding that as early as 2012, artificial intelligence is already being integrated into the curriculum.

TESDA OIC-Chief Charlyn Justimbaste, meanwhile, emphasized the role of technical-vocational education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

She said that the agency is preparing through capacity-building and upskilling of TVET trainers, establishing TESDA Innovation Centers, developing higher qualification standards, strengthening the TESDA Online Program, and benchmarking best practices through international cooperation and agreements.

Both agencies underscored education reform and lifelong learning as tools in preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba emphasized on DTI’s Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (I3S), which aims to promote an innovation ecosystem in the Philippines, with different sectors partnering to generate more jobs and improved business opportunities.

Director Emmy Lou Versoza-Delfin, on the other hand, discussed DICT’s Digital PH Program, which aims to create IT hubs in the countryside, further develop the IT-BPM industry by providing various training, promote entrepreneurship through ICT, and provide freelance online opportunities in rural areas.

Representatives from the Employers Confederation of the Philippines and IndustriALL Global Union also presented their perspectives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

ECOP Governor Anton Sayo highlighted the need for industry-driven demand analysis, work-based learning, talent-need projections, apprenticeship programs, as well as upskilling and reskilling of the workforce.

On the other hand, IndustriALL Global Union National Program Coordinator Ramon Certeza highlighted the need for continuous engagement through industry-academe-employer-labor linkage; and the role of trade unions in social dialogue on sectoral just transition and active participation in the workplace monitoring.

In closing, BLE Director Dominique Tutay reminded that human capital should be at the center of the future of work and that there is a need to lessen the digital divide by ensuring that development also spur in the regional areas, and not in the National Capital Region alone. — DOLE News Release

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