Overcoming the jobs crisis and shaping an inclusive recovery:The Philippines in the aftermath of the global economic turmoil

The forum is part of the ILO initiative in collaboration with the UN-System and international donors to prompt more coherent national programmes for job-rich recovery under the framework of the Global Jobs Pact.

Policy Coherence Forum

Date: 11-12 March 2010

Venue: Intercontinental Hotel, Makati City, The Philippines

Like most economies in Asia, the Philippines seems to be well weathering the global financial and economic crisis, the worst global downturn since the Great Depression. The country experienced slightly positive economic growth in 2009 and forecasts for 2010 are in the range of 3-4 per cent. Exports are starting to pick up, after the sharp decline of the earlier months. International reserves are growing and the country enjoys a solid current account surplus. Filipino banks and large conglomerates are registering hefty profits and the Stock Exchange is up. In the labour market, the numbers of those who are officially registered as unemployed has not increased as dramatically as expected.

Those outcomes are the results of sound monetary policy and a timely fiscal stimulus package, which helped sustain domestic demand through a blend of investment in infrastructure, tax cuts and social transfers. They also reflect the resilience of remittances from overseas workers as well as the distinctive strength of a few industries – the growth of business processing outsourcing (BPO), for instance, maintained its momentum even in the midst of the crisis.

This policy coherence forum is organized under the auspices of the United Nations Task Force on the Global Crisis in the Philippines. It builds on the partnership between the ILO and the Department of Labour and Employment. Its goal is to provide a platform for national and international agencies, social partners and other policymakers in the Philippines to generate and exchange ideas for policy development and coherent action.

The forum takes the prompt policy response to the global economic crisis as a point of departure. It draws from the on-going experience and the proposals of national and international agencies engaged in promoting employment, livelihood and social protection programmes. It calls for coordination and convergence. It makes an attempt to learn lessons to be taken into account in the development of new policies and programmes. In the wake of the crisis, there is a vigorous debate on the cyclical policies and the structural reforms needed to set the Philippines on a path to sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth. Employment and social protection are critical components to any solution.


1. To gain a better understanding of the immediate and long-lasting labour market impact of the global economic crisis in the Philippines

2. To review the policy responses given so far and learn lessons as it concerns good practice as well as areas for improvement, upscaling and replication

3. To consider new policy initiatives to encourage stronger employment generation, improved social protection and more effective labour market institutions

4. To promote knowledge sharing, synergies and collaboration across national and international development agencies and policy makers

5. To identify priorities and formulate recommendations for policy reforms to support sustainable, inclusive and job-rich growth.





Opening the conference with World Café session

10:00- 10:30

Coffee + Tea break


Introduction and welcome by ILO Manila Director and Philippines Secretary of Labour

Conference objectives and programme

Experts Panel 1- From crisis to crisis: resiliency and vulnerabilities of the labour market in the Philippines

This session will review trends in the labour market by status, sector, gender, youth, overseas workers, informality and poverty. It will look at issues concerning wages and earnings, urban-rural divide, labour market institutions and the visible and invisible social costs of crises.

(short introductions by experts followed by questions and answers from the audience)

12:00 – 13:00

Lunch break

13:00 – 14:30

Experts Panel 2 - Policy coherence for crisis response and recovery: Crafting a sustainable pro-job, pro-poor growth agenda

This session will look at issues concerning macroeconomic scenarios, fiscal and policy space, key areas for reform and the need for new policy initiatives to enhance employment, productive investment, employment and poverty eradication

(short introductions by experts followed by questions and answers from the audience)


Brief introduction to Breakout Groups (BOG) Track 1 – Employment Creation

Breakout Group 1

Coping with recurring emergencies and vulnerabilities through employment and livelihood programmes

This will review the CLEEP, issues of coordination and convergence, systemic coverage, sustainability

Breakout Group 2

Optimizing LGU support for local economic development and job creation

This will discuss fiscal space at local level, LGUs and SMEs, aligning local and national programmes, need for capacity building of local government

16:30 – 17:30

Reporting Back to Plenary of BOGs Track 1


Reception hosted by the ILO


National key policy actors, including officials of the relevant government agencies; representatives of workers and employers organizations; local government officials; international and national experts, researchers and academics; civil society organizations; ILO specialists and specialists from UN agencies, international financial institutions and donors.