With the new year, business
organizations in the country are
eyeing and wishing for a better
2021 as the previous year a lot
of challenges and uncertainties
were encountered due to the
coronavirus pandemic that devastated the economy.
Big businesses suffered
huge losses due to the stringent
measures imposed by the government to contain the spread
of the pandemic disease but
are starting to bounce back
with the gradual reopening of
the country’s economy.
Nonetheless, there are
some factors which government have to address to get rid
of some hindrances in attracting more domestic and foreign
investments to pour in such as
real implementation of “Ease
in Doing Business” that would
promote transparency and efficiency in government doing
The country’s ranking has
improved significantly since
2013, jumping 43 notches. Currently, the Philippines ranks
95th out of the 189 countries
that were covered by the Doing
Business survey, from 124th
last year, according to Doing
Business 2020 report.
Among the ASEAN member states, Singapore still leads
followed by Malaysia and Thailand. The Philippines remained
at 7th place followed by Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar for
both 2019and 2020, the same
are asking for more from government such as relaxation of
business regulations to attract
more business enterprises to
come in and in order for the
economy to return to normalcy
which will allow local businesses to bounce back under the socalled “new normal”.
Predicated on this, trade
unions and organized labor is
not against this set-up as long
as government’s commitment
to core labor standards are not
“The core labor standards
are a set of four fundamental, universal and indivisible
human rights: Freedom from
forced labor; Freedom from
child labor; Freedom from discrimination at work; Freedom
to form and join a union, and
to bargain collectively”.
Those are separate from
the eight ILO fundamental
Conventions. The Philippines
has ratified 38 ILO Conventions of which 30 are in force.
These include all fundamental Conventions covered by
the 1998 Declaration on the
Fundamental Principles and
Rights at Work.
The 8 fundamental Conventions are: 1) Freedom of Association and Protection of the
Right to Organize Convention,
1948 (No.87); 2) Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98);
3) Forced Labor Convention,
1930 (No. 29) and its 2014 Protocol; 4) Abolition of Forced
Labor Convention, 1957 (No.
105); 5) Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138).
Added to the list, 6) Worst
Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No.182); 7) Equal
1951 (No. 100); and, 8) Discrimination (Employment and
Occupation) Convention, 1968
Rising amid the pandemic.
“We sorely need investments
in the field of agriculture and
manufacturing – massive and
sufficient – to generate and
sustain employment’, thus said
House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco reported Daily Tribune.
Consequently, the situation
is amplified by the rising number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who returned to the
country after being laid off due
to the pandemic disease only to
find similar limited sources of
income, Speaker Velasco noted.
Still, about 14.4 precent
of Filipinos are seeking jobs as
more were laid off due to businesses severely affected by the
pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report
Surveys indicated the average jobless rate for 2020
was 10.4 percent or 4.5 million
people, the highest since 2005,
added the PSA report.
Nevertheless, the same
PSA report mentioned that the
October data, equivalent to3.8
million jobless individuals was
almost twice the 4.6 percent in
the same period last year but
below the record 17.6 percent
To address the factors that
may have hindered the success
of some industries, Speaker
Velasco’s antidote of luring
investors to create additional
employment opportunities is
to introduce amendments to
some existing laws that will
relax the restrictive provisions
for foreign capital.
Equally important, I would
like to take this opportunity by
chanting Pit Señor to all my
friends and readers alike as we
celebrate our annual celebration, in honor of Señor Santo
Niño – a celebration of faith,
a time of particular reflection
and rediscovery of our faith.