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Unit 2: Gender issues in the world of work

Labour market gender issues by country

Philippines


ILO's Philippine Country Objectives (1996-1998)

PHILIPPINES: COUNTRY OBJECTIVES, 1996 - 1998

(ILO Area Office, Manila, Philippines)


Table of Contents
Introduction
Economic and Social Development Priorities
PRIORITY ONE: Employment Generation and Poverty Alleviation
Objective
Strategy
Programmes of Action
1.1 Employment Generation
1.2 Small and Micro Enterprises and Cooperative Development
1.3 Poverty alleviation and democratization and capacity building for indigenous cultural communities

PRIORITY TWO: Strengthening Industrial Relations System and Tripartism to Promote Growth, Social Development and Competitiveness
Objective
Strategy
Programmes of Action
2.1 Labor Legislation
2.2 Tripartism

PRIORITY THREE: Improvement of Working Conditions and the Environment and Social Protection with emphasis on Disadvantaged Groups
Objective
Strategies
Programmes of Action
3.1 Occupational Safety and Health, Working Conditions and Environment
3.2 Child Labor
3.3 Gender Issues
3.4 Social Protection

PRIORITY FOUR: Human Resource Development
Objective
Strategy
Programmes of Action
4.1 Integrated human resources development in line with ILO Convention No. 142 and Recommendation No. 150 (1975)
4.2 Developing a national policy on vocational and technical education and training
4.3 Skills upgrading programmes for streetchildren
4.4 Strengthening institutional capacities for upgrading skills of women
4.5 Strengthening capacity of workers and employers organizations for effective participation in policy making fora

Introduction

The Active Partnership Policy of the ILO was first implemented in 1993. A major activity of APP is the formulation of coherent and comprehensive country objectives setting out the priority areas of action which fall within the mandate of the ILO. The exercise of setting out the Country Objectives for the Philippines is defined as a joint undertaking of the ILO with its social partners, i.e., the Government and workers and employers' representatives. Its aim is to identify national labor and social development priorities in the areas of ILO expertise, set out a time frame for their attainment and define responsibilities for action. The latter activity defines implementation strategies and action programs to be undertaken by the ILO in cooperation with the national tripartite constituents often with resources provided by donors. The aim of the exercise is to provide a framework for ILO's operational activities in the Philippines.

This document presents the ILO's Country Objectives for the Philippines. It is to cover the medium term of 3 years, and it should be considered a rolling plan subject to frequent review both within the ILO and with the social partners. The contents are based on a careful review of the economic and social situation of the Philippines, and the results have been discussed at various junctures, and the present document represents a consensus of opinion among the social partners. The following documents have been extensively used in the preparation of this one:

  • Philippine Medium-Term Development Plan - 1993-98
  • Report of the ILO Country Objectives Mission Team "Globalization with Equity: Towards Philippines 2000"
  • Philippine Country Strategy Note
  • ILO Technical Report: "Comprehensive Employment Strategy Programme: Challenge and Response"
  • Philippine Social Reform Agenda
  • Tripartite Action Plan for Structural Adjustment
  • Philippine Human Development Report

It is felt that in this way, the Country Objectives for the Philippines maintains its relevance as a document reflecting the coordination of United Nations programs in support of the economic and social development plan of the country in areas in which the ILO has technical competence.

The programs presented in this document should be viewed in light of the identified needs of the country and in line with the human and financial resources available to the ILO. The Country Objectives are not meant to be a comprehensive development plan in the field of labor and employment for the Philippines. They are meant to cover a specific period of time and are deemed to be the top priorities for action within ILO's mandate and competence. And, neither should they be viewed as a comprehensive list of the actions that the ILO will undertake in the Philippines after the next few years. A deliberate effort has been made to allow room for the ILO to adapt to emerging priority areas of action.

Tripartism and social dialogue remain the cornerstones of the ILO's program of action. The mandate of the ILO emanates from social justice and the improvement of the working and living conditions of all people in the country. As such, recognized international standards of labor and human rights play a major role in all areas of technical assistance in the country. The overall objective of ILO actions is to assist in the creation of a sufficient amount of local expertise and capability for the country to carry out the efforts initiated by the ILO. This may require institutional reforms and the amendment of existing of the enactment of additional laws, regulations and orders to create an enabling environment for the desired changes in economic growth, expansion, creation of employment and sustainable livelihoods to occur in tandem with ILO activities.

The major limitation to effective implementation of the programs included in this document remains resources, both human and financial. The social partners and our national counterparts may have to supplement the limited resources of the ILO in the implementation of activities. The ILO has always received strong support from its social partners in the Philippines. Irrespective of this, external financing will still be required for certain activities, and it is In this area where the ILO can be of particular importance to the Philippines. By providing a bridge between potential bilateral and multi-bilateral donors, the ILO can provide an additional service to the overall development effort of the country.

It is also important to recognize that the Philippines enjoys a special advantage in the ILO, since a multi-disciplinary advisory team is located in Manila. The team's geographical location ensures easy access for the social partners to technical specialists in the areas of employment policy, conditions of work, vocational and technical education, small and medium enterprise development, industrial relations and international labor standards and gender issues and the world of work. Support in other technical areas is assured by the teams located in Bangkok and New Delhi.

Economic and Social Development Priorities

One can identify three distinct periods in the more recent development history of the Philippines. From the mid-sixties until the end of the seventies, the country enjoyed relative economic prosperity. The Philippines was one of the most economically advanced countries in South-East Asia. The decade of the 80's proved disastrous, both economically and politically. The country was then referred to as the "sick man of Asia". This is not the place to go into the myriad of reasons behind this decline. The 90's, at least since 1992, have witnessed an upsurge of economic growth in the country, fueling hopes that the country will regain its position as a leader among the Tigers of Asia. In pursuit of this goal, the current Administration has adopted the theme of " Philippines 2000".

Nevertheless, problems persist. Unemployment has proved to be sticky downward. In spite of a substantial 5.8 per cent growth in GDP in 1995, only half a million jobs were created. In the face of this, the high growth of population led to 710,000 new entrants to the labor force in the same year. In spite of this, the unemployment rate remained constant at near 9 percent. The above statistics indicate that the residual of new entrants over jobs created either lowed into the informal sector or into overseas employment (which the Government is trying hard to discourage). Unemployment continues to be a serious problem in the economy averaging over 20 percent including both visible and invisible. Poverty remains unacceptably high at over 35 percent. The quality of life in terms of environment, access to health and education facilities and the cost of basic necessities makes life very hard for the average Filipino family.

Despite the genuine efforts at all levels to improve the welfare of Filipino women and children, women are often the first to be hit by unemployment and they are disproportionately represented in the ranks of those in poverty. They predominate in the informal sector where working conditions are largely substandard and social protection is most often non-existent. Females have come to represent the majority of new hires in overseas workers, and they are concentrated in low status jobs and often subject to abuse. The continuation of a high level of poverty and lack of access to quality education tend to perpetuate the problem of child labor in the Philippines in hazardous types of employment. Many of these children work in conditions that are extremely unfavorable to their development and detrimental to their health.

In the face of these realities, the social partners of the ILO have identified the following four major economic and social development priorities for the Organization to pursue in its programs over the next 3 to 5 years.


1)employment promotion and poverty alleviation;
2)strengthening the industrial relations systems and tripartism to promote growth, development and competitiveness;
3)improvement of working conditions and the environment and social protection in favor of disadvantaged groups; and,
4)human resource development.

It is in these areas that the ILO will concentrate its technical activities in the country. In all of these areas, attention will be placed on the development of activities on close collaboration with the social partners. In this way, the ILO can continue to respond effectively to the needs of its Filipino partners.

PRIORITY ONE: Employment Generation and Poverty Alleviation

Objective:

The objective of this priority area of assistance is to develop capacity in key government agencies and the social partners in the formulation and implementation of integrated strategies for employment promotion and poverty alleviation including the re-integration of return migrants and demobilized soldiers (ex-fighters), especially through the promotion of micro and small enterprises (MSEs), cooperatives and self-help informal groups in a period of rapid economic globalization and structural change.

Strategy:

The major strategy to achieve this objective will be to develop capacity in government (primarily DOLE and NEDA), employers and workers organization, and local authorities to:


(i) operationalize the employment strategy as outlined in the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy Programme (CESP) adopted by the National Employment Summit (1995);
(ii) develop a policy framework on overseas migration issues including concrete policies for upgrading skills and re-integration of return migrants;
(iii) identify policy measures and action programmes for increasing productivity, employment and incomes in small and micro enterprises, cooperatives and the informal sector;
(iv) develop training programmes for Local Government Units to enhance local development planning endeavors that will also benefit indigenous and tribal people. Relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations including Convention 122 and Convention 169 will serve as a basis for implementing all activities.

Programmes of Action:

1.1 Employment Generation

1.1.1 Provide technical support to DOLE and NEDA to monitor and operationalize the employment strategy in the MTPDP and implement recommendations of the National Employment Summit.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, EMPLOI, Area Office

1.1.2 Assist the Government in the expansion of livelihood centers around the country to impart remunerative skills and entrepreneurship development to various underprivileged groups, e.g., scavenger communities, victims of disasters, relocated squatter communities and street children.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT

1.1.3 Assist in developing programmes to upgrade skills and reintegrate Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT, E-MIGRANT

1.1.4 Assist the Government in developing strategies and policy framework for integrating migration issues in development planning so as to maximize its development benefits for the economy and the individual migrant. National tripartite seminar to be organized and policy framework developed (TSSI).


Time Frame: 1996
Means of Action: SEAPAT, E-MIGRANT, Area Office

1.1.5 Development within the context of the Integrated capability Building Program (ICBP) of the Local Government Academy (LGA) and the Social Reform Agenda (SRA) of training programmes for local government units (LGUs) on the application of simple local planning technology that can generate employment-intensive work programmes.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: Area Office, POL/DEV

1.1.6 Develop capacity amongst trade union and employers' organizations to analyze the labor market impact and develop integrated strategies to meet the challenges of globalization and structural change.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, EASMAT, Area Office, ACTRAV, ACT-EMP

1.1.7 Develop special job creation schemes for demobilized ex-fighters in Mindanao to re-integrate them into the society through skill training and promotion of small and micro enterprises and cooperatives.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Manila COOP, ENT-MAN

1.2 Small and Micro Enterprises and Cooperative Development

1.2.1 Provide technical support to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for improving micro, small and medium enterprises through Small Business Promotion Corporation (SBCP) and Asia Pacific Center for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) including streamlining the functions of business registration and service centers.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, ENT-MAN, Area Office

1.2.2 Develop capabilities of DOLE and LGUs in improving employment, income and working environment in the urban informal sector by providing support and assistance to the Master Plan on the Informal Sector.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, ENT-MAN, Area Office

1.2.3 Assist in the improvement of micro and small enterprises cooperatives to create employment and to save traditional jobs through skills training and cost-effective demonstrative pilot initiatives.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, ENT-MAN, Area Office

1.2.4 Strengthen capability of employees in micro-enterprise, development mainly through active promotion and organization of a "Start Your Business" programme and related training packages.

1.2.5 Enhance capacity of Employers' Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) in providing management development opportunities to employers to enable them to meet the challenges emanating from the liberalization of trade.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, ACT-EMP, Area Office

1.3 Poverty alleviation and democratization and capacity building for indigenous cultural communities through strengthening their cooperatives, NGOs and POs.

1.3.1 Support self-reliance of indigenous tribal peoples cooperatives, NGOs and other self-help organizations in the preservation of indigenous culture, arts and crafts, generation of income and employment, and the management of ancestral domain and natural resource/environment and capability of indigenous autonomous administrations through networking.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT, COOP

1.3.2 Assist the Government and the indigenous peoples in developing policy framework in the promotion of indigenous knowledge systems and practices (IKSP) for sustainable development through participatory documentation of IKSP (TSS1).


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT, COOP

1.3.3 Provide technical support for national policy on indigenous peoples and develop capability for livelihood, skills negotiation, participatory environmental assessment for indigenous communities and capability to respond to Conv. 169, and following tripartite and legislative actions toward ratification of Convention 169.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT, POL-DEV

PRIORITY TWO: Strengthening Industrial Relations System and Tripartism to Promote Growth, Social Development and Competitiveness.

Objective:

The objective of this priority area of assistance is to enhance and strengthen further the industrial relations systems and tripartism in the context of globalization, with emphasis on maintaining a stable labor relations environment through preventive and/or voluntary modes of dispute settlement in support of the country's quest for economic growth and global competitiveness of the enterprise.

Strategy:

The major strategy to achieve this objective is to strengthen the capacity of the DOLE's National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and the employers and workers organizations to:


1) promote preventive and/or voluntary modes of dispute settlement;
2) strengthen tripartite mechanisms and encourage the development of schemes for greater labor/management cooperation that would lead to increased workers' participation and productivity, while encouraging bipartite arrangements in which the government can play a supportive role in the maintenance of industrial peace and harmony;
3) upgrade research capability of the social partners in aid of policy formulation and program development for the effective settlement and prevention of labor disputes.

Programme of Action:

2.1 Labor Legislation

2.1.1 Provide technical support to DOLE and other social partners in the review of amendments to the Labor Code, and organize tripartite discussions on these amendments in the context of the needs of the social partners in the global economy, drawing on the guidance provided by the ILO Committee of Experts in relation to the application in the Philippines of Convention Nos. 87, 98 and 144.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT, EASMAT, LEG - REL

2.2 Tripartism

2.2.1 Organize tripartite training courses with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) on voluntary modes of dispute settlement, such as voluntary arbitration and conciliation - mediation.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT, EASMAT, LEG-REL

2.2.2 Support active tripartite participation in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT, EASMAT, LEG-REL

2.2.3 Support for active tripartite involvement as a way of ensuring a more effective functioning of the industrial relations system mainly through the promotion of labor management cooperation schemes at the plant level, productivity-linked wages and gain-sharing, etc.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office,SEAPAT,EASMAT, LEG-REL

2.2.4 Support for the Employers' Confederation in the Philippines in the conduct of activities dealing with industrial relations.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: Area Office, SEAPAT, EASMAT, ACT-EMP, LEG-REL

2.2.5 Assistance in the establishment of an effective industrial relations system in the public sector, including labor relations education and training for government officials and strengthening of the conciliation and dispute settlement machinery.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: Area Office,SEAPAT,EASMAT, LEG-REL

2.2.6 Capability-building for regional tripartite bodies, including regional organizations representing individual tripartite constituencies.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office,SEAPAT,EASMAT, LEG-REL

2.2.7 Support for DOLE, DTI and PMAP initiatives at organizing Labor - Management Committees at the appropriate levels of the enterprises.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: Area Office,SEAPAT,EASMAT, LEG-REL

PRIORITY THREE: Improvement of Working Conditions and the Environment and Social Protection with emphasis on Disadvantaged Groups

Objective:

The objectives of this priority are to promote a safe and healthy working environment, to support actions for a well-functioning labor inspectorate against child labor; to promote approaches to combat discrimination, improve equality of opportunities and treatment for women workers and to assist in the development of an integrated comprehensive policy and program framework for the social protection of the entire population.

Strategies:

This programme will be implemented through a tripartite approach. The Government's capability will be strengthened to achieve improvements in occupational safety and health and working conditions, extension of social protection, to combat discrimination against women and to improve equality of opportunities and treatment. Steps will also be taken to strengthen the capacity of employers and workers organizations to participate effectively in bipartite and tripartite bodies on issues relating to these concerns and to take action themselves to improve conditions. Particular attention will be given in relation to occupational safety and health to high-risk industries and occupations that are not effectively served by current programmes, and to groups of women previously ignored by programmes on women. Similarly, action against child labor, comprising prevention, protection and rehabilitation, will be targeted to the children at greater risk.

Programmes of Action:

3.1 Occupational Safety and Health, Working Conditions and Environment

3.1.1 Assist in formulating measures for developing national capacity to organize and conduct training and promotional activities for improving working conditions and productivity in small and medium enterprises and the informal sector (especially WISE) and for integrating such approaches into government and industry strategies for small enterprise development.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, TRAVAIL, Area Office

3.1.2 Strengthen the capacity of government agencies, employers' and workers' organizations in planning and implementing measures to deal with hazards at the workplace (including strengthening the national OSH information system and reporting system) through technical assistance, action - oriented research, workshops and seminars and support for national networks.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: SEAPAT, TRAVAIL, Area Office

3.1.3 Develop and implement follow-up activities to key action programmes conducted under INTERED/EN and analyze the contributions made to strengthen the tripartite partners' capacity to influence or undertake environmental policies and programmes.


Time Frame: 1996
Means of Action: SEAPAT, TRAVAIL, Area Office

3.1.4 Provide technical advice on a development of a comprehensive national policy and plan of action on occupational health and safety and the working environment and upgrading of the legal framework (especially Convention No. 155), including assistance in the ratification of Convention 155.


Time Frame: 1997 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, EASMAT, TRAVAIL, Area Office

3.2 Child Labor

3.2.1 Assist national efforts to combat child labor, including prevention, protection and rehabilitation, in partnership with national and local government agencies, employers' and workers' organizations, NGOs and people's organizations, particularly through IPEC.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: IPEC, SEAPAT, Area Office

3.2.2 Develop a new plan of action and reinforce the national campaign against child labor, including prevention, protection and rehabilitation, in partnership with national and local government agencies, employers' and workers' organizations, NGOs and people's organizations, particularly through IPEC.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: IPEC, SEAPAT, Area Office

3.2.3 Develop a national campaign for the elimination of Child Labor through the use of various types of media, i.e., television, radio and print.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: IPEC, Area Office

3.2.4 Participate in relevant regional and inter-regional studies and programmes on child labor including a program on child labor on manufacturing industry in South East Asia and the development of guidelines for policy-makers on sustainable action against child labor.


Time Frame: 1995 - 1997
Means of Action: SEAPAT, EASMAT, IPEC

3.3 Gender Issues

3.3.1 To assist the government, employers' and workers' organizations in the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on women in the world of work.Technical Advisory services will be provided for conducting a review of existing programmes and practices on women workers with the view to strengthen and update these programmes include groups which were previously ignored and address issues related to their particular circumstances.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office, EASMAT, FEMMES

3.3.2 Assist workers' organizations in developing activities to increase the participation of women in decision making and trade union.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office, EASMAT

3.3.3 Conduct a training programme for workers' and employers' organizations and government officials on gender issues, women's entrepreneurship and women workers' rights and on integrating gender issues in the programming ad project cycle.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office, FEMMES

3.3.4 Strengthen the capacity of government and employers' and workers' organizations to promote equality of opportunities and treatment especially through the implementation of the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention No. 111, and the Equal Remuneration Convention No. 100, including the promotion of measures to combat sexual harassment, and to develop policies for workers with family responsibilities, while promoting ratification of Convention No. 156 for workers with family responsibilities.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1997
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office, EASMAT, FEMMES

3.4 Social Protection

3.4.1 Assist in developing an integrated comprehensive policy and programme framework on social protection.


Time Frame: 1995 - 1996
Means of Action: SEAPAT, SEC-PDN, ILO Area Office

3.4.2 Provide technical advice on the preparation of a comprehensive study and analysis of all social security schemes with a view to identify deficiencies and gaps, and to advise the Government on appropriate options for reform.


Time Frame: 1995 - 1996
Means of Action: SEAPAT, SEC-PDN, Area Office

3.4.3 Assistance in the design and implementation of a reformulated social security scheme.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, SEC-PDN, Area Office

3.4.4 Provide technical support in the application of ratified Social Security Conventions (Convention Nos. 17, 19, 118 and 157) and in the adoption of appropriate legislation and improved government enforcement capacity, while providing the essential ratification of the Social Security (Minimum Standards Convention, Con. No. 102)

PRIORITY FOUR: Human Resource Development

Objective:

The objective of this priority area is to strengthen the capacity of national authorities and the social partners to plan and implement programmes for the development of high quality human resources with skills that respond to the labor market and to fully understand the issues, changing trends and implications in capability building of social partners.

Strategy:

The approach will be to collaborate with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and DOLE in devising strategies for an efficient system of technical and vocational education and training aimed at creating a workforce which is capable of meeting the challenges of globalization and international competitiveness. The other agencies to be included in this endeavor would include the DTI, DECS, POEA, OWWA, NCRFW and the NGOs. Special attention would be paid to women, street children and returning overseas migrant workers. Programmes would also be undertaken to strengthen the capacity of the workers and employers representatives who have major role in policy formulation at the national level so far as human resource development is concerned.

Programmes of Action:

4.1 Assist the national authorities in the integrated development of its human resources to meet the challenges of Philippines 2000 in line with the principles set out in ILO Convention No. 142 and Recommendation No. 150 (1975).


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office, F-POL

4.2 Provide assistance to TESDA and DOLE in developing an effective national policy on vocational and technical education and training with due regard to analysis of labor market needs and updating of data on national manpower requirement.

Emphasis will be placed on coordination of efforts with the private sector so as to ensure optimal utilization of available resources and an effective system of training that is responsive to the labor market needs including review of major issues and trends in training and their implications to tripartite constituents and the changing role of the social partners.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office, EMPLOI-FORM, Turin Center

4.3 Provide assistance to the national authorities in designing and implementation of skills upgrading programmes for streetchildren.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office, UNESCO

4.4 Provide technical support to DOLE, TESDA and NCRFW in strengthening institutional capacities for upgrading skills of women with a view to diversifying their employment opportunities.

Assistance will be taken of regional programmes to learn from the experiences of other countries.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office

4.5 Provide advisory services in strengthening the capacity of workers and employers organization for effective participation in policy making fora on labor markets and skills training related issues including those with special needs.

Workshops and symposia will be organized to develop institutional capacity in this area.


Time Frame: 1996 - 1998
Means of Action: SEAPAT, Area Office, EASMAT

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