DTI Secretary Fred Pascual and DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma

MANILA CITY, PHILIPPINES — During the Labor and Trade Partnership Session with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on April 26, Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual highlighted the crucial role of digital capabilities in elevating the Philippine workforce. The discussion revolved around putting into action the DOLE-DTI initiative on Enterprise Development and Livelihood Assistance, established through a memorandum of agreement signed on May 8, 2023.

“We are steering our workforce towards high-value tasks that enable them to climb the ladder of value creation,” Secretary Pascual sated, outlining collaborative priorities with DOLE. “This is especially crucial in the field of digital technology, which does not require extensive machinery but focuses on intellectual and creative skills,” he added.

The session explored strategic initiatives to embed digital training and development across the workforce, aiming to create green and high-quality jobs through the Trabaho Para Sa Bayan Act.

From L to R: DTI Undersecretary Allan Gepty, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, International Labour Organization Country Director Khalid Hassan, and DOLE Undersecretary Benedicto Ernesto Bitonio Jr.

Secretary Pascual also underscored the DTI’s initiative to transform Negosyo Centers into digital learning hubs, equipping Filipinos with the skills needed to thrive in the global market. “By advancing the digital skills of Filipino workers, we are not only enhancing their capabilities but also ensuring they contribute significantly to our nation’s economic growth,” said the DTI chief.

He further stressed the importance of adapting to technological advancements and leveraging digital platforms to create more innovative and sustainable employment opportunities for Filipinos. This partnership between the DTI and DOLE, supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) aims to establish a robust employment framework focused on job creation, quality, and sustainability.

The session was attended by key officials including DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, ILO Country Director Khalid Hassan, and DTI Undersecretary for International Trade Policy Group Allan Gepty. ♦

Date of release: 26 April 2024