Garments, apparel makers urged to make operations 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 the 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 (CSR) roadshow related to the garments and apparel industry this March and April.

“As of now, we have a severe shortage of suppliers for export and we found that there are some which are existing however, not (socially) compliant,” he said.

“When I say not compliant, they are not aware such as in auditing system that you have to be socially compliant meaning, no child labor, (compliance with the) minimum wage, safety of the workers, as per all the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) rules, regulations and requirements,” he added.

Young said importing countries, especially the United States, European Union, Canada and Australia, are becoming “very strict” that all the goods that are entering their countries are manufactured by socially compliant factories.

“So many rules, new rules and regulations are now introduced that will 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 their coverage to the Bicol area, two provinces in Mindanao perhaps in Cagayan de Oro and Davao or Cotabato—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 (MSMEs) and even big companies with 2,000 employees, he said. (Philexport News and Features)