PIDS Suggests Philippine Labor Reforms Post-COVID-19
The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) announced on Sunday, February 21, that the Philippine labor sector should undergo reforms once the COVID-19 pandemic has died.
In a lecture hosted by the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), PIDS Visiting Fellow Vicente Paqueo proposed to systematically review and revise Philippine labor laws to ensure Filipino workers’ economic security against incoming labor disruption.
Paqueo noted that restrictive laws are likely to cause the Philippine labor markets to encounter high labor costs, inflexibility, and inefficiency. This could result in the country lagging behind its Southeast Asian neighbors.
PIDS Senior Research Fellow Aniceto Orbeta and FEF Fellow Gary Olivar also second Paqueo’s proposal and suggested strengthening the country’s unemployment insurance and pension system and establishing special employment zones.
Additionally, Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo expressed how the country’s labor laws provide insufficient flexibility and employment decisions.
She stated, “Existing programs that are supposed to provide safety nets are fragmented, non-inclusive, and limited.”
In June 2020, Quimbo filed House Bill No. 7028, also known as the National Unemployment Insurance Program, which seeks to provide workers support and protection from nationwide economic crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippine private sector has also proposed legalizing equitable measures such as supporting employee tenure, providing long-term and target-based incentives, facilitating rational work schedules, and championing work-life balance for the next two to three years.