JFC lauds local labor environment
MANILA, Philippines - The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) lauded the country’s labor environment that has lured more investors but urged more incentives for manufacturers relocating from China.
The JFC, in an annual report, reviews labor policies of host countries to give insights to the foreign investors planning to explore the Philippines.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) welcomed JFC’s high rating on labor-policy reforms that allowed flexible work programs and gave employers ease in operating their companies.
These include issuances on compressed workweek, reduction of working days, rotation of workers, forced leave, broken time schedule, and flexi-holiday schedule.
JFC, which is composed of the chambers of commerce from the US, Australia-New Zealand, Europe, Japan, Canada and Korea evaluates and rates government agencies and gives recommendations to further attract more investments.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the JFC review gave DOLE a high rate of 5 on its efforts to maintain “low level of labor disruptions in business operations and allowing self-regulation of companies.”
She said the peaceful work environment in the last few years was due to improved speed and fairness of the adjudication of labor cases before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
“The report observed that this regime of sustained industrial peace resulted from increased social dialogues between the government, organized labor, and capital coupled with strengthened Tripartite Industrial Peace Council,” said Baldoz in a statement on Thursday.
She said the continuous effort of the DOLE in cultivating a culture of voluntary compliance by reaching out to big companies to deal with their subcontractors’ legitimacy also contributed to the enduring industrial peace.
JFC has urged the DOLE to actively seek amendment of the 39-year-old Labor Code to make wage increases consistent with inflation and productivity.
The foreign chambers gave a low rating of 2 on DOLE’s effort to create higher-quality jobs through increased investments on human-resource training.
Also among the policy recommendations is a program geared toward giving more incentives to manufacturers relocating from China due to high operational expenses and rising wage demands.
At the same time, foreign investors also urged the labor department to rationalize holidays in the Philippines to ease the impact on employers of the 15 paid holidays a year to be required of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations members by 2015 when the group becomes a single market.