Statement
Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz

“The Department of Labor and Employment welcomes the results of the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) showing that the Philippines continues its tremendous progress in improving its global competitiveness in labor market efficiency, one of the 12 pillars in the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

“In the Labor Market Efficiency Pillar, in which the DOLE is particularly focused, I am pleased that the Philippines has climbed 9 rungs from the 100th spot in the 2013-2014 GCI to 91st in the current 2014-2015 rankings. This brings to 20 rungs the leap that we have made in the Labor Market Efficiency pillar since 2010, when we were in the 111th spot in the GCI rankings for this pillar.

“I note that the Philippines has registered very visible progress in 8 of the 10 indicators, and have moved up to the 50 percentile in five of these, namely, (1) cooperation in labor-employer relations (29th); (2) effect of taxation on incentives to work (47th); (3)pay and productivity (27th); (4) reliance on professional management (29th); and (5) country capacity to retain talent (60th).

“We have moved upward in rankings, although still below the upper 50 percentile, in the remaining indicators: flexibility in wage determination (+23); hiring and firing practices (+3); capacity to attract talent (+4); ratio of women to men in the labor force (+5), except on the indicator, “effect of taxation on incentives to work”, which was added to the LME pillar only in 2013. Taxation is beyond the mandate of the DOLE.

“On the ‘redundancy cost’ indicator, where the Philippines stood still in ranking, the DOLE, through its Regulatory Impact Assessment, is studying a possible issuance to remove rigidity in firing due to authorized causes.

“In the 2014-2015 GCI, the Philippines (out of 144 economies) has leapfrogged 7 notches to move to the 52nd spot, from 59th place in the 2013-2014 GCI (out of 148 economies), making the country closer to achieving the goal of being in the upper third of the list of countries.

“Since the start of  the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2010, the Philippines has leaped 33 places in the overall GCI rankings, taking the distinction as the largest gainer among all the countries the WEF has studied.

“No less than the WEF had said that the results of its study of the Philippines “suggest that the reforms of the past four years have bolstered the country’s economic fundamentals.”

“I myself strongly believe the findings of the WEF Competitiveness Report already bear some of the fruits of our reform efforts over the last two years, such as those in employment facilitation, both local and overseas; expanded labor market information delivery; bridging employment, and training and education; dispute settlement and resolution; enhanced labor and employment education; inclusive tripartism; and expanded social dialogue.

These reforms include  the re-engineering of the PhilJobnet ; Labor Market Information delivery (industry career guides, and LMI reports to jobseekers, education and training institutions, and policy and decision makers; strengthening of the Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs); JobStart Philippines; and enhancing competitiveness and mobility of Filipino workers through the development and implementation of the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF); PRC’s online systems for professionals; Training for Work Scholarship Program; and other skills development measures.

“The double-digit positive rankings in the indicators, ‘flexibility in wage determination’ and ‘pay and productivity’ are creditable to our  reforms to strengthen enterprise productivity and competitiveness.

“We have strengthened and expanded our Productivity Improvement Program (PIP) for MSMEs under the Two-Tier Wage System (TTWS) and for the first time, have linked minimum wage and productivity wage increases and benefits under the TTWS.

“On this note, the NWPC has started issuing Advisories on the establishments of PIPs in all regions, including the conduct of compliance assessments in companies with PIPs. In 2013, for the first time, 359 companies have been issued certificates of compliance on the PIPs.

“On dispute resolution and settlement, the SEnA has already become a law. On ensuring transparency and accountability in the labor dispute settlement system, we continue to implement Project SpeED which seeks to restore integrity and fairness through speedy, fair, and just disposition of labor cases, also with a high 99 percent disposition rate at the end of 2013.

The DOLE has been promoting Voluntary Codes of Good Practices in industries as an instrument of ITCs towards fostering a culture of industry self regulation and  voluntary compliance with labor laws. There are now 135 Industry Tripartite Councils and 224 VCGPs. The DOLE is also on track in its implementation of the new Labor Law Compliance System that uses a combination of developmental and regulatory approaches. We have issued certificates of labor law compliance to 802 establishments as of 30 July 2014.

“We have expanded productivity-based pay schemes in Voluntary Codes of Good Practices between workers and management towards industry self-regulation, including in Collective Bargaining Agreements.

“For the first time, the DOLE, Temasek Foundation, and Nanyang Polytechnic of Singapore implemented an agreement for an expansive training of productivity specialists including workers, employers, and other government agencies, such as the DTI and DOST. Under the 2013 partnership agreement, 120 officials and technical staff of the DOLE, NWPC, and RTWPBs, as well as a select number of productivity beneficiaries from the private sector participated in an intensive training on productivity concepts, measurements, tools, technologies, and best practices to help intensify and expand the productivity movement in the country.

Last April, the partners launched another capacity-building project on innovation and enterprise development, attended by 110 participants consisting of DOLE-NWPC senior officials, program managers, implementers, strategic partners from the DOST, DTI, DA and DOT, and social partners representing labor, employers, and the academe.  We are expecting that the training participants will implement projects that will push to a higher level the advocacy for productivity, innovation, and enterprise development, as well as productivity improvement programs in their respective organizations.

“The sustained positive trend of the country’s productivity level continues to inspire the DOLE to work harder in the next two years on how we can improve and innovate so further so we can be of better service to our clients.”

END

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