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Reforms improve labor market efficiency

MANILA, Philippines — The latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index ranking placed the Philippines’ labor market efficiency in 47th place out of 140 economies, raising it by 5 notches since 2014.
“We are now reaping the gains of implementing institutional, systems, policy, and program reforms in the labor and employment front,” said Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz following the release of the 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Report of the WEF.
Baldoz noted that the country’s Labor Market Efficiency ranking showed the highest improvement in performance in the 12 pillars of competitiveness, from 91 in 2014, to 82 in 2015, or with 9 notch upgrade.
The biggest improvement recorded under the LME pillar is posted by the Hiring and Firing indicator, at 30 notches (from 104th to 74th). Capacity to Retain Talent jumped at 15 steps (from 60th to 45), and the Capacity to Attract Talent, with 12 leaps (from 82nd to 70th). Moreover, the Pay and Productivity, recorded an upgrade of 8 points (from 27th to 19th). Other significant improvements were in the Redundancy Costs, Weeks of Salary, with plus seven (7) improvement (from 124th to 117th); Cooperation in Labor-Employee Relations, with 3 points improvement (from 29th to 26th).
Apart from the demonstrated improvements, the LME indicators that posted the highest ranks are Labor-Employer Relations which ranked 26th out of 140 evaluated world economies. The Pay and Productivity was at 19th place, and the Reliance on Professional Management indicator was at 28th slot.
These LME indicators, along with Country Capacity to Retain Talent (45th), Effect of Taxation on Incentives to Work (46th), and Country Capacity to Attract Talent (70th), now belong to the upper 50-percentile rank in the LME global ranking. Baldoz said the continuing improvement of the LME pillar could be attributed to policy and program reforms in labor and employment, a number of which are contained within the tripartite-approved Philippine Labor and Employment Plan and the DOLE Roadmap to Decent Work.
“The DOLE will continue to implement programs toward enhancing the employability of workers and competitiveness of enterprises. Youth unemployment will be continually addressed, primarily through the JobStart Philippines program, and the two-tier wage system will likewise be pursued to encourage productivity, said Baldoz.
Baldoz also emphasized the vigorous implementation of the new Labor Laws Compliance System, as well as the pursuit of transparency and accountability in labor dispute settlement system, and the enhancement of alternative dispute mechanisms to continuously improve the indicators in the labor marker efficiency.
“We are committed to deliver the President Benigno S. Aquino administration’s 22-point labor and employment which has served as the groundwork of these gains that we are achieving under the DOLE’s roadmap to decent work,” she added.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index ranking evaluates each country’s 12 pillars of competitiveness, or the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country. These are Public and Private Institutions; Infrastructure; Macroeconomic Environment; Health; Higher Education and Training; Goods Market Efficiency; Labor Market Efficiency; Financial Market Development; Technological Readiness; Market Size; and, Innovation.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.