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For 2015, ILS was able to produce 14 researches along the areas of Labor Market Analysis, Program Assessment, and Policy Research. The said papers were presented during the 4th Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Research Conference held in Bayview Hotel on December 2-3, 2015.

Under Labor Market Analysis

  • The Philippine Labor Market Factbook 2013-2015

The factbook is intended for researchers who are looking for a quick reference on labor and employment and presents sets of data and statistical analysis on the results of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). It also contains labor and employment administrative data culled from the databases of various Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) offices.

“Those new in data analysis will be guided by definition of key terms and presentation of data in tables and charts, which are also explained in narrative form,” explains OIC-Exec. Dir.  Mary Grace L. Riguer.

The factbook contains LFS data for years 2013 to 2015 and captures data on the employment status of working age population within four survey periods of the year, in January, April, July and October. The LFS framework is a survey conducted by the PSA to capture data sets that describe the employment situation of persons working age (15 years and over) within a given period.

Under Policy Research

  • Examining Issues on Contracting Arrangement in the Philippine Retail Industry: A Case Study on the Working Conditions of Contractual Workers in Supermalls and Supermarkets by Ivan Cassidy F. Villena

The paper looked into the current issues and concerns on working conditions in selected retail establishments in the National Capital Region. It identified some problems, which workers in the retail industry are experiencing in the workplace such as non-payment of minimum wage, absence of control in some contracting arrangements, prohibition to organize a union, and circumvention of worker’s right to security of tenure. It suggested the amendment of existing rules and regulations on contracting and to create programs that will further enhance the working conditions of retail and sales workers.

  • Strengthening Public Sector Unionism: Determining Bottlenecks in the Approval Process of Collective Negotiations Agreement (CNA) among State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC’s) by Patrick P. Patriwirawan, Jr.

The paper examined the bottlenecks and best practices in the negotiation and approval processes of CNAs among SUCs and GOCCs. The following are the key findings of the study: (1) there are SUCs and GOCCs that differ on the extent of representation and participation of the Board in the negotiation process and that partnership/personal relationship between management and employees’ association ensues efficient processing of CNA; (2) most of the identified bottlenecks and best practices are born out of the type of relationship that is developed between management and union/employees association; (3) recommendations are classified as either for policy intervention, for institutional process review, and for further research.

  • Fostering Voluntary Compliance: An Assessment of the Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS) by Joyce Anne S. Lumactud

The paper assessed the implementation of DOLE’s Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS). It noted that the compliance rate for establishments in general labor standards and occupational safety and health standards are above 50%. It also cited that compared with international standards, the LLCS is responsive with the basic requirements of a good inspection system. The LLCS is being implemented through Joint Assessment, Compliance Visits, and Occupational Safety and Health Standards Investigations.

  • Implications of Extending Maternity Leave Period of Female Employees by Stephanie B. Tabladillo

Several bills are filed before the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines seeking to expand the maternity leave of female employees in the government and private sector, whether married or unmarried. One of such bills seek to change the legislated mandatory leave period of 60 days for normal delivery or miscarriage and 78 days for caesarean delivery, increasing the maternity leave to 120 days, of which 90 days are paid and the remaining 30 days are unpaid and optional.

This paper provides a quick analysis of the proposed regulatory measure of extending the period of maternity leave in the Philippines. It situates the measure into the policy and socio-economic contexts and other areas of concerns such as occupational safety and health, productivity and labor cost. It also analyzed that there is not much significance in the cost-benefit ratio between option to maintain status quo (60-78 days) and the proposed 98 days of paid leave.  There is substantial result, however, if the option taken is for 98 days of paid leave, and additional 30 days of unpaid leave.

  • Examining the Portability of Social Security Benefits among Migrant Workers in the APEC Region focusing on Non-Asian Economies by Miraluna S. Tacadao

Currently, the Philippines has existing social security agreements with Austria (1982), United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (1989), Spain (1989), France (1994), Canada/Quebec (1997/98) , Netherlands (Administrative SSA) (2001), Switzerland (2004) and Belgium (2005). Moreover, there are signed agreements with Denmark and Portugal (for entry into force), Germany and Luxembourg (for ratification) and Republic of Korea (for renegotiation). Agreements with Japan and Sweden are for signing within 2015.

The study maintained that the movement of workers requires coordination of social security systems while concluding that a bilateral or multilateral agreement is currently the best practice to achieve portability. ILO Convention No. 157 and Recommendation No. 167 provide comprehensive basis for a multilateral coordination of social security programs. It also recommended to push for the adoption of the ILO provisions embodied in Convention No. 152 to strengthen the social protection of migrant workers, and to ensure that their families will have access to the programs of their host countries.

  • Examining the Portability of Social Security Benefits among Migrant Workers in the APEC Region focusing on Asian Economies by Olivette S. Gabito

The research acknowledged the diverse social security models currently being implemented in the ASEAN. It suggested exploring the possibility of forging social security agreements for countries with similarly-designed social security systems. For instance, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam may agree on equality of treatment of migrant workers, the removal of double taxation, exportability of benefits, as well as totalization of benefits. Further, that ASEAN countries with provident fund systems may allow for voluntary access for intra-ASEAN migrant workers, i.e. Indonesia and Malaysia. Origin countries can also develop a voluntary contribution system for their citizens to have access to their own social security programs even while they are abroad. The Philippines and Vietnam extends such coverage to their overseas workers.

  • Documenting Practices in Human Resource Development Planning
  • by Bernard Paul M. Mangulabnan

Industry stakeholders have identified human resource development (HRD) as a key cross-sectoral issue of concern. It is for this reason that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Board of Investments (BOI) has requested the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to spearhead the crafting of HRD plans that will complement the industry roadmaps initiated under DTI’s  Industry Development Program (IDP) It entails for DTI engaging with the private sector—through the industry associations or federations—in developing industry roadmaps that will support the formulation of a Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS),[1] a priority item under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016.

Pursuant to this, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz issued Administrative Order (A.O.) Number 145-2014 constituting the team to handle the DOLE’s HRD planning activities for industries. The Secretary designated the Office of the Undersecretary for Employment Facilitation and Manpower Development  to lead the team, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) to support the Undersecretary in planning and coordinating. Specifically, the Secretary had also instructed ILS to help provide technical assistance in framework-building, and TESDA, BLE and PRC to align their skills and livelihood trainings and employment facilitation programs with the requirements of industrial roadmaps and of CNIS.

The paper recommended that a bottom-up approach be selected as the general approach of the planning process, with the sectors leading the write-up of plans but to be guided by a standardized structure to be developed by the DOLE HRD core team.

Under Program Assessment:

  • Tracer Study on OWWA’s Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) by Jhemarie Chris L. Bernas

The Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration (OWWA) Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) supports the national government in promoting technical and vocational education and training for OWWA members or their dependents.

The study traced former SESP scholars from 2012-2014 and determined if there is a positive attribution influenced by the tech-voc training sponsored by SESP to their current employment status. Majority (153 out of 300) of the former scholars said that they are able to use their training either as an advantage in their job search or in practical application of the skills learned. The research concluded that SESP has become the transitory stop gap assistance enabling the OFWs to enhance their skills for another opportunity abroad or preferably a more stable employment locally.

  • Tracer Study of OWWA’s Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) by Paulina Kim C. Pacete

The Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) is OWWA’s training and education program for OFWs and their dependents started in 2004. From 2004-2013, a total of 380 EDSP beneficiaries have since graduated.

The tracer study found out that generally, the employment and income outcomes for the surveyed EDSP graduates are positive. Majority were employed right after graduation (73% of surveyed graduates) and at present (65% of surveyed graduates). They are mostly in the Professionals and Technicians and Associate Professionals occupation categories, and are dispersed across industries that saw high demand/positive growth in recent years. They also have higher than average income both for employment after graduation and current employment, with gross monthly income averaging Php 21,399 (after graduation) and Php 28,158 (at present), compared to Php11,700 average monthly wage in the country (ILO est. 2012). The paper suggested that schemes to increase access for students from lower-income families of OFWs be explored so that this positive outcome can be maximized for those with higher need for financial support, or families not able to or has difficulty financing higher education. Dependents of vulnerable migrant workers may also be prioritized.

Technical Advisory Supports (TAS)

  • HRD Roadmapping

The DOLE has commenced a series of sectoral consultations for the formulation of the National Human Resource Development with industry leaders. ILS has been assigned to do consultations in the industries of jewelry, copper & copper products, iron & steel, and metal casting. Earlier in November, the ILS hosted the National HRD Roadmap Writeshop and a breakfast meeting with the industry leaders. Industry leaders who attended the meeting expressed their support for the roadmapping initiative of the Department and recognized the high importance of human resource development for industry productivity and competitiveness.

  • Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2014

ILS, by way of legislative comments, was involved in the drafting of the Senate Bill No. 2315 or “Promoting Green Collar Jobs in the Philippines Act of 2014 and Senate Bill No. 2893 or the “Philippine Green Jobs Act.” For the former, the ILS cited that the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016 sets priorities and directions for the environment and includes the “promotion of green jobs and the greening of industry” as a means to meet the goal of “improved environmental quality for a cleaner and healthier environment.” ILS connected the promotion of green jobs with the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 8 (which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”) and  Goal 13 (which is to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

On the proposal to set up a Green Collar Jobs Council, the ILS countered that there was no longer a need for it and instead recommended instead to further enhance the promotion of green jobs creation through various government agencies.

  • Labor freedom index

ILS, through its Labor and Social Relations Research Division, conducted an an inventory of the country’s policies/legislative developments from July 1, 2014 – June 30 30, 2015 and forwarded it to the Department of Foreign Affairs. The existence of such an inventory and its submission helped the country increase its Labor Freedom score from 49.7 (rank 140) in 2014 to 58.2 (rank 107). The said score adds up to the overall Economic Freedom Score tallied and published in the Index of Economic Freedom, an annual guide published by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation. The Index covers 10 freedoms – from property rights to entrepreneurship – in 186 countries.


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