Leading apparel manufacturer Philippine Luen Thai Holdings Corp has launched its own employee care program - Unified Principles of Social Responsibility and Practice (UPSRP) - for its four apparel factories in Clark Field, Pampanga.

Senior managers and up to 3,000 workers of the firm, whose clients include Polo Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, Chaps, CK, New Times Jones, and Ann Taylor, attended the initiative's launch recently.

Company officials hope the care program will lead to a more happy, productive, efficient and loyal workforce through the comprehensive codes of conduct and principles of "best practice".

They include: conformance to local laws; fair and legal employment and compensation; basic rights and freedom; a healthy and safe working and living environment; ethical business practice; and effective system implementation and management.

Philippine LTHC President and Luen Thai Intl Group executive vice-president, Willie Tan, said: "The company aims to make its employees happy as part of the Luen Thai family by promoting their security and well-being."

He added the implementation of UPSRP was Luen Thai's commitment to social responsibility - considered a competitive asset in the midst of globalisation and information technology revolution today.

Identical employee care programs will be set up at the firm's other Philippine plants next year. Luen Thai's seven factories in the Philippines should either be SA 8000-certified by the Société Général de Surveillance or Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production-certified within six months.

Luen Thai began the worldwide implementation of the UPSRP in its stable of factories in Saipan in 1999 and in Cambodia last August.