Decent Work in the Philippines: Statistics on Social Dialogue, Workers’ and Employers’ Representation (Fourth of a Series)

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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)
During the UN General Assembly in September 2015, decent work and the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda became integral elements of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Specifically, Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. (ILO, Decent Work – Decent Work and the SDG)
In September 2008, the ILO adopted a framework of Decent Work Indicators that was presented to the 18th International Conference of Labor Statisticians in December 2008. The Governing Body endorsed the proposal to test the framework by developing Decent Work Country Profiles to pilot countries that include the Philippines which was later made possible through the project “Monitoring and Assessing Progress on Decent Work” (MAP) in 2012, with funding from the the European Union. 
The statistical measurement framework on decent work covers ten (10) substantive elements corresponding to the four (4) strategic pillars of the Decent Work Agenda, namely: employment opportunities; adequate earnings and productive work; decent hours; combining work, family and personal life; work that should be abolished; stability and security of work; equal opportunity and treatment in employment; safe work environment; social security; and, social dialogue, workers’ and employers’ representation. These elements of decent work were analyzed in the 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)
To facilitate efficient monitoring and assessment of progress towards decent work in the country, the Philippines through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), maintains the Decent Work Statistics Philippines (DeWS-Philippines), a one-stop web-based portal for decent work statistics to widen awareness on decent work among policymakers, labor organizations and employers, researchers and the general public as well.   
This issue of LABSTAT Updates presents statistics on one of the elements of decent work which is Social Dialogue, Workers’ and Employers’ Representation which focus on union density rate; collective bargaining coverage rate; strikes and lockouts; and tripartism. Related tables and metadata of statistical indicators on this issue can be downloaded at the DeWS–Philippines website at
Decent Work Element on Social Dialogue, Workers’ and Employers’ Representation
  • The ILO defines social dialogue to include all types of negotiation, consultation or exchange of information between, or among, representatives of governments, employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. 
  • In support of this mechanism, the Philippines, as stipulated in its Constitution, recognizes and guarantees workers’ rights to self-organization and collective bargaining in order to promote and protect workers’ interests and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with the law. 
  • Available statistics on decent work element on social dialogue, workers’ and employers’ representation include union density rate; collective bargaining coverage rate; strikes/ lockouts; and tripartism.