The Philippine furniture industry has rapidly evolved over the years. From its being a mere rattan pole and wicker export supplier in 1960’s, the industry was able to expand and became one of the top suppliers of well-designed furniture exports not only in Asia but in the whole world. The industry’s capacity to manufacture a wide range of well-designed furniture made it become recognized in the field of world class furniture manufacturing. The entire work process of the furniture industry is labor-intensive. Its supply chain has both upstream and downstream sectors that provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to millions of Filipino people.
However, because of the nature of their work, these people are much prone to different occupational hazards and work-related issues. This study attempted to assess the employment generating potentials of the furniture industry, and analyze the employment issues and problems confronted by its workers. It also documented the decent work practices of selected furniture manufacturers and find alternative strategic ways that will provide workers with decent, safe, and productive employment. Key findings of the study revealed that the furniture industry really has the capacity to generate great number of employment opportunities. Despite different constraints suffered by the industry in the past, it remains globally competitive and was able to sustain its world class standing. However, there is a need for the industry to focus and further strengthen its product development and innovation to maximize its competitive advantage. The study also showed that among work- related issues, the most important that has to reckon with, are the different occupational accidents and illnesses encountered by its workers.