Decent Work in the Philippines: Equal Opportunity and Treatment in Employment (Second of a Series)

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


The International Labor Organization (ILO) in its advocacy to promote the Decent Work Agenda describes decent work as “integral to efforts to reduce poverty and is a key mechanism for achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.  Decent work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, provides security in the workplace and social protection for workers and their families, and gives people the freedom to express their concerns, to organize and to participate in decisions that affect their lives”. (ILO, Country Profile, 2012, Preface)

The statistical measurement framework on decent work covers ten (10) substantive elements corresponding to the four (4) strategic pillars of the Decent Work Agenda. These elements include: (1) employment opportunities; (2) adequate earnings and productive work; (3) decent hours; (4) combining work, family and personal life; (5) work that should be abolished; (6) stability and security of work; (7) equal opportunity and treatment in employment; (8) safe work environment; (9) social security; and, (10) social dialogue, workers’ and employers’ representation. These elements of decent work are analyzed in economic and social context to help determine what constitute decency in society as well as the extent to which the achievement of decent work enhances national economic, social and labor market performance. (ILO, Country Profile, 2012)

This issue of LABSTAT Updates presents statistics on another element of decent work which is Equal Opportunity and Treatment in Employment. Specifically, four (4) statistical indicators used to monitor this particular decent work element were analyzed covering the period 1995 to 2017. These four (4) indicators include: (1) female share in occupational employment; (2) female share of employment in senior and middle management; (3) share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector; and (4) gender wage gap.  Related tables and metadata can be downloaded at the OpenSTAT website at


  • Promoting equal opportunity and treatment in employment is a central element of the Decent Work Agenda. In the same way, the Philippine Constitution recognizes the role of women in nation building and promotes the equality of women and men.  Likewise, the Phil. Labor Code seeks to ensure equal employment opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed.
  • “It is the duty of the State to ensure equality before the law in all aspects of national life by rectifying or ending all practices and systems that are disadvantageous or discriminatory to women by reason merely of their sex in cases where it is not a relevant factor in making a distinction” (De Leon, 2005 as stated in the Decent Work Country Profile, The Philippines, 2012).
  • As the country continually seeks to promote gender equality in terms of employment opportunities, statistics presented in this article shows the overall picture on how the country progresses in achieving this particular decent work element.


Female share in occupational employment remains unchanged over the 22-year period interval


  • The female share in occupational employment followed a generally increasing to downward trend over the 22-year period. Specifically, while female share has grown slightly (1.5%) since the 1990s, from 36.4 percent in 1995 to 37.9 percent in 2017, peaks of 39.6 percent (2016) and 39.1 percent (2002) were likewise posted during the period. (Figure 1)


Figure 1

                                           Source:  Philippine Statistics Authority, Labor Force Survey.


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