HR Trends and Highlights for September 2018

Therese Pempeña
t.pempena@salarium.com

Here are the top news, events, and announcements last September that will shape the latest HR trends in the Philippines.

DOLE Starts Initiative to Address Youth Unemployment

The youth unemployment rate in the Philippines has been on a steady decline in recent years. From a record high of 10.33% in 2009, it went down to 7.69% last year, but it is still not enough. Youth unemployment remains a huge factor in the stunted economic growth of the country. For this reason, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) saw it fit to work with the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) to address the issue. With support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), PBEd will implement Youth Works PH, a five-year nationwide initiative that aims to make education and training more responsive to the needs of the economy. The project will provide youth beneficiaries with work-based training positions, classroom-based skills training, competency certifications, and life skills training.

Millions of Adult Filipinos Remain Unemployed

An estimated 8.6 million Filipinos remain jobless for the second quarter of 2018, according to a Social Weather Stations survey. The Labor Force Survey conducted last June found that adult joblessness is at 19.7 percent, which is an improvement over the 23.9 percent last quarter. This includes adults in the labour force with a job at present or without a job at present and are currently seeking employment. However, the survey also revealed that net optimism on job availability stayed “very high” despite these conditions.

Employers Reminded to Uphold PWD Workers’ Rights

In a recent statement, DOLE reminded employers to uphold the rights of their PWD workers in accordance with law. “All qualified employees with a disability shall be entitled to all the rights and benefits granted under the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, unless otherwise expressly provided,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. “Employers are not prohibited from granting such other benefits above and beyond the minimum requirements of the Law.” Employees with disabilities must also be mandatorily covered under the Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG, whenever applicable.  

DOLE Shows Support for Telecommuting Bill

In an effort to take full advantage of automation and digitization of the workplace, DOLE is lobbying for the immediate passage of the telecommuting bill. In his message at the 2018 National Productivity Conference, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that this is to “ensure that notwithstanding the location of work, workers’ rights and welfare protections are protected, especially at the speed with which technological developments are taking shape.” If approved, employees in the private sector may work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies. It will also mandate employers to ensure that telecommuting employees are given the same treatment as that of comparable employees working at the employer’s premises.

Duterte Administration to Fast Track ‘End to Endo’ Bill

President Duterte has certified Senate Bill 1826 “An Act to Strengthening Workers Right to Security of Tenure” as urgent. He cited the need for immediate enactment of the so-called End to Endo bill in a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III. House Appropriations Committee chair Karlo Alexei Nograles and Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin expressed the same sentiments, saying that the bill would benefit over 40 million workers and college graduates poised to enter the workforce. If enacted, companies would have to hire employees directly and could no longer source workers from employment agencies.

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