- Category: Top News
17 Feb 2013
- Written by Max V. de Leon | Reporter
The government has vowed to heed the call of the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) and other business groups for more regulatory changes that would make the country more conducive to investments and job generation.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said that to be able to generate more and better employment, “we are working on improving the business climate and labor regulations.”
On February 26 JFC will announce its second-year assessments during the Arangkada Philippines Forum at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
The JFC said that while the 2012 macroeconomic results were very encouraging, “we also believe that the Philippines still has a long way to go on the road to becoming a middle income economy.”
“It [the Philippines] cannot afford to be complacent about what until now can best be classified as short term gains and rectification of prior poor governance,” JFC said.
“The regulatory environment should promote employment creation. It also needs to be responsive to the needs of firms to easily adjust to employment requirements according to changes in output markets while still ensuring decent work for those employed,” Balisacan, also the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority, said.
He said that apart from creating new drivers of growth, addressing policy inconsistencies and administrative inefficiencies are also necessary to continue improving the country’s investment climate to offer profitable opportunities that will generate jobs.
In the manufacturing, business-process outsourcing (BPO), tourism and agribusiness alone, Balisacan said estimates suggest that some $3 billion in investments in these sectors would create 621,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly through multiplier effects.
The JFC also identified these sectors back in December 2012 as among the economic drivers that could generate $75 billion in new foreign investments, 10 million jobs and over P1 trillion in revenues for the Philippines within this decade if the policy reforms, infrastructure buildup and regulatory changes that the business sector is pushing are implemented by the government.
In the JFC’s first assessment in January 2012 sectors, it came out that substantive improvements were noted in the areas of BPO, policy infrastructure, telecommunications, logistics and the general business environment, with emphasis on labor. Recommendations for these sectors were seen to have been adopted and in some cases completed.
However, sectors rated as having less improvement were mining, agribusiness, tourism, and manufacturing.
On February 26 the JFC will announce its second-year assessments during the Arangkada Philippines Forum at the Shangri-La Makati Hotel.
The JFC said that while the 2012 macroeconomic results were very encouraging, “we also believe that the Philippines still has a long way to go on the road to becoming a middle-income economy.”
“It [the Philippines] cannot afford to be complacent about what until now can best be classified as short-term gains and rectification of prior poor governance,” the JFC said.
Also to be addressed, Balisacan said, is skills mismatch, which serves as a constraint to employment generation.
He said the Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority are already giving attention to this.
“These agencies are working closely with colleges and schools to ensure that the courses offered match the kind of jobs that are expected to be generated by the economy. At the same time, the ‘K to 12’ program is meant to ensure that students learn enough basic skills to facilitate the acquisition of advanced skills through training and to support innovative activity,” he said.
Based on the National Statistics Office Labor Force Surveys, the number of employed persons increased from 36.5 million in October 2010 to 37.7 million in October 2012. This corresponded to a drop of the unemployment rate from 7.1 percent to 6.8 percent during the same period.