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Philippine Standard Time

Issue Paper

Due to the rapid technological advancement and increased internet connectivity in the 2000s, people across countries have witnessed the rise in the production and delivery of a range of services coordinated through online marketplaces or digital platforms (ILO, 2018). These economic activities are now referred to as the ‘platform economy’ or ‘gig economy’ that have allowed us to carry out various economic activities online, such as ordering of food and groceries, booking a ride or home cleaning services, or buying other remote freelancing services. Indeed, digital platforms have become one of the prevalent features in many contemporary societies and have shaped radical changes in how we organize socioeconomic activities.

The transport sector remains a key employment generator (DOLE, 2020), with over 3.05 million employed persons recorded in August 2021, accounting for 12.4% of the total employment in the services sector or 6.9% of the total employment in the country (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2021a). On the contrary, according to the 2018 Census of Philippine Business and Industry (CPBI) on the transportation and storage section, the industry has 3,377 establishments employing a total of 206,024 workers, majority of which are engaged in support activities for transportation (PSA, 2021b). As CBPI is based on the 2009 Philippine Standard Industry Classification, data is confined to the numbers of workers in the formal sectors, which explains how the transport sector is largely informal. Table 1 shows the number of employed persons in the transport sector year-on-year from 2018 to 2021.

The aggressive pursuit for economic growth in developing countries including the Philippines has contributed to environmental degradation that emanates from various waste management problems (Castillo & Suehiro, 2013). Particularly, the rapid industrialization, urbanization, and population growth that accompany the path to economic growth are the main contributors behind the rapid spike in waste generation. In turn, the insufficient capacity of our waste systems to treat and dispose present and future volumes of waste is exposed. Indeed, waste management presents an environmental and social problem to both developed and developing countries, with the former having an advantage in the form of financial and technical resources, while the latter continues to struggle to efficiently implement basic systems to manage waste (Paul et al., 2007).

Historically, the Philippines’ energy sector has been reliant on fossil fuel. In fact, the share of environmentally harmful fossil fuel in the country’s generation mix remains largely unchanged at approximately 75 percent, derived mainly from coal power plants. This, despite the promulgation of the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) in 2017, which requires electricity producers to source or generate at least 35% of their electricity requirements via renewable energy (RE) sources (i.e., geo-thermal, solar, wind, and bio-energy resources). Further, the Philippines is becoming more dependent on imported coal for its power needs, with imports increasing to 27.7 million tons in 2019 from 26.3 million tons in 2018.

Construction sector is a key sector in the economy. It is a major direct contribution to economy. In terms of GDP, construction sector’s gross value accounts for 7.1% of GDP or PHP2.35 trillion/USD43.7 billion in 2018; and average of 6% of GDP for 2010-17. In terms of employment, it had 9.4% share or 3.8 million persons employed in the sector in 2018. It also has indirect contribution as input to infrastructural investment across other sectors. Steady economic growth in recent years, and government-led infrastructure investment under the Build, Build, Build program helped expenditure in the construction industry expand, by 15.9% in 2018. Demand drivers are the Build, Build, Build program, strong demand for condos, duplexes, and quadruplexes notably Chinese investors (Oxford Business Group 2019).