Inclusive social protection for all employees in the Philippines

Maximising productive and sustainable job opportunities, and raising salaries, form part of a blueprint for inclusive labour development.
By: | August 11, 2023

The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) of the Philippines is intensifying its efforts to establish inclusive social protection for all Filipinos by scrutinising current processes concerning employees’ benefits. This move falls under the overarching goals outlined in the Philippine Labour and Employment Plan 2023-2028, a blueprint aimed at enhancing the country’s labour landscape and promoting inclusive development.

Bienvenido Laguesma, Secretary of Labour and Employment of the Philippines, said, “Part of that (plan) is the review of mechanisms addressing the benefits of employees. We know that there is an existing tripartite mechanism addressing matters related to the minimum wage level.”  He expounded on the pathways for potential salary and benefits increases, which involve the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board and collective bargaining negotiations.

Apart from the objective of establishing inclusive social protection, the plan also underscored the importance of maximising productive and sustainable job opportunities. It also highlighted the significance of upholding employees’ rights, international commitments, and human rights within the labour ecosystem.

Laguesma confirmed that petitions for wage increases are progressing within the regional wage boards. He detailed the progression, stating that after public hearings, the subsequent steps involve wage deliberations, which typically conclude within a month, barring unforeseen circumstances.

READ MORE: Over one in five employees in the Philippines seek new opportunities

DOLE will also focus on job creation within the infrastructure sector, particularly through the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) Build Better More programme. Manuel Bonoan, Secretary of the DPWH, said that over three million employees may be required for upcoming infrastructure projects, emphasising the need for skilled and technical labour.

Furthermore, investment commitments made during President Bongbong Marcos’s foreign trips are also expected to generate jobs. Laguesma revealed that the energy sector alone could yield approximately 75,000 jobs, reported Philstar.