Garment makers told: Be socially compliant
Filipino manufacturers and exporters of garments and apparel are encouraged to make their operations socially compliant to increase acceptance of their products by foreign buyers.
Robert Young, trustee for the textile, yarn and fabric sector of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) and president of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP), said they are gearing up to conduct the second season of the corporate social responsibility roadshow related to garments and apparel industry this March and April.
“As of now, we have a severe shortage of suppliers for export and we found out that while some exist, they are not (socially) compliant,” he said.
“When I say not compliant, they are not aware of such thing. To be socially compliant, it means no child labor and (compliance with the) minimum wage, safety of the workers, as per all the Department of Labor and Employment rules, regulations and requirements, up to the latest regulation of DOLE,” he added.
Young said importing countries, especially the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia are becoming “very strict” that all the goods that enter their countries are manufactured by socially-compliant factories.
“New rules and regulations are now introduced. These have have to be updated, otherwise, the goods will be denied entry to their country and this will cost delay and losses to the factories in the Philippines,” he said, citing as examples the rules and regulations on the use of chemicals and origin of materials.
For the second season of the roadshow titled “The Importance of CSR in the Export Industry,” Young said FOBAP and Philexport plan to expand its coverage to areas that have exporters of products that FOBAP is buying.
Participants to the lectures of experts from the foreign buyers include the micro, small and medium enterprises and even big companies with 2,000 employees, he said.
“(The lectures are) all about CSR, explaining from A to Z: its objective and when do you need CSR compliance and how much will it cost you; and what the rewards are, which is important because many Filipino exporters consider it an additional expense, which is entirely false,” he said. – Press release