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This research examines just transition pathways and decent work outcomes for waste workers amid the circular economy and modernization shifts in the Philippines' waste sector. Using a qualitative study design and framework approach, researchers interviewed local government unit (LGU) officials, materials recovery facility (MRF) managers, and formal and informal waste workers across six sites pioneering zero waste programs and undergoing various sector transitions. Using the International Labour Organization’s Just Transition Guidelines as the analytical framework, findings reveal decent work deficits across employment stability, social protection, skills training, and occupational health and safety dimensions. While transitioning to more sustainable waste practices expanded jobs, issues like contractual work arrangements, lack of hazard pay and insurance, unsafe working conditions, and narrow skills-building prevailed.

Agriculture modernization is “the process of transforming the agriculture (and fisheries) sector into one that is dynamic, technologically advanced, and competitive, yet concerned on human resource development, guided by the sound principles of social justice” (Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997). Anchored to the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work in 2018, which called for a “human-centered approach for the future of work,” this research aimed to understand better the role of human capital productivity management towards the improvement of competitiveness in the agriculture sector as well as it aimed to contribute to the realization of agriculture modernization for the Philippines.

This study utilized a mixed-method research design, incorporating key informant interviews, desk reviews, and data analyses from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and other government agencies. This study looked into the employment generation of ecozones across the years. PEZA statistics indicated a rising employment trend in ecozones over the past decade, peaking in 2022 with 1.862 million workers, nearly double the initial figure of 909,266 in 2012. Demographically, ecozone employment consists of females, Filipino nationals, and regular employees directly hired by locators. Region-wise, the National Capital Region leads with 766,286 jobs, followed by Regions IV (524,481), VII (239,742), III (92,140), and VI (52,596) as of April 2023. Some factors contributing to this growth include technological advancements, increased demand for certain products, and plans for technology transfer, particularly in the manufacturing and IT sectors.

Transformations in the world of work pose vast opportunities and adverse impacts on workers and employers. Such transformations largely contributed to the emergence of the gig economy. However, the prevailing institutional mechanisms and regulatory regimes are being challenged to respond effectively to the transformation. Using a qualitative method approach, this study seeks to gain a detailed understanding of gig economy governance and uncover new insights and opinions through key informant interviews and focus group discussions among participants from targeted sectors. Interviews revealed that the employment relationship of gig workers remains a contentious issue in the gig economy despite the presence of legal frameworks (i.e., test of relationship).

Labor justice in the Philippines is embedded both in Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines and the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Article XIII, Section 3 of the Constitution stipulated the role of the State in protecting the workers with their fundamental rights at work. Meanwhile, Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, underscores the visitorial and enforcement power of the Secretary of Labor and Employment and his/her duly authorized representative. Moreover, Article 129 of the said Code of the Philippines provided the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his/her duly authorized hearing officer with the power to hear and decide any matter involving the recovery of wages and other monetary claims.