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Occasional Paper

The informal economy has been a significant emerging part of the labor force. Undeniably, the informal economy contributes to the national economy and provides employment opportunities across sectors. This occasional paper will present an overview on the current situation of the workers in the informal economy in the Philippines.

Sugarcane remains one of the largest agricultural subsectors in the Philippines. Presently cultivated in over 420,000 hectares representing about 3.4 percent of the country’s arable lands across 19 provinces (DBP, 2015), its gross value-added recently grew by 14.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the same period a year ago (PSA, 2018). In absolute terms, one estimate puts the sugarcane industry’s contribution to the nationally economy at PhP 70 billion annually (SRA, 2012). The crop is processed into three major products (i.e. sugar, bioethanol and power), with four-fifths of the overall production being consumed locally (DBP, 2015).

The Philippines was one of the first countries in Asia to ratify several international agreements, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other international standards associated with the fundamental principles and rights at work such as the Equal Remuneration Convention (C100) and the Discrimination Convention (C111), among others. It has also passed gender-sensitive legislation, particularly the Magna Carta of Women, which articulates the specific rights, needs, and support required by women in their working and general lives.