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The ILO’s Global Centre on Digital Wages for Decent Work and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) are partnering to raise the profile of responsible digital wage payments among stakeholders across the country, including micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), representatives of business associations and labour groups, digital financial service providers and the banking community, policymakers, academics and researchers, workers and the general public.
A series of three webinars in September and October 2023 promoted digital wage payments as a way to advance MSME digitalization, workers empowerment and financial inclusion in the Philippines. The events featured speakers from the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, ECOP and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Fintech Alliance.PH, Better Than Cash Alliance, and the ILO.
In her opening remarks for the webinar series, ECOP Deputy Director General Abigail Gorospe emphasized that “digital wage payments present opportunities to strengthen sustainable business practices, encourage respect for labour rights, empower workers and broaden financial inclusion. Digital transformation is an imperative for MSMEs, which will lead to better efficiency, greater productivity and enhanced competitiveness. It is key to achieving greater financial inclusion in the country.”
Each webinar focused specifically on one of the following key themes in relation to responsible digital wage payments: enhancing SME digital transformation, advancing financial inclusion and promoting workers empowerment. The webinar included topics such as benefits of digital payments for SMEs, boosting SME productivity and competitiveness through digitalization; promoting wage payments and financial inclusion through tech-enabled products and services, enhancing adoption; ensuring wage protection and facilitating compliance with labour standards, digital financial literacy and upholding workers welfare.
In an open discussion with the audience, we covered issues such as improving access to services for digital wage payments by lowering costs and requirements, ensuring safety and security of users’ digital accounts, improving the digital infrastructure for wage payments and enhancing efforts towards better digital and financial literacy. The webinars also highlighted the importance of the collaboration between the government, employers, workers and other concerned partners to further the adoption of digital wage payments in the country.
Hundreds of attendees from all over the Philippines viewed the webinars. The livestream recordings are available and can be rewatched via ECOP’s Facebook page.