Table of Contents

  • Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic regional economies in the world, having experienced impressive growth over the last 15 years. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 marked an important milestone on its path towards becoming a highly competitive region that is integrated in the global economy. However, the region faces several obstacles, such as high levels of income inequality and weak governance structures, which place pressure on maintaining this momentum and achieving higher levels of development and inclusiveness.

  • This OECD Review on Local Job Creation has been produced by the Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This project was undertaken in co-operation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippines. The OECD Reviews on Local Job Creation are coordinated by Jonathan Barr, Policy Analyst, under the supervision of Sylvain Giguère, Head of the LEED Division.

  • The Philippines is a dynamic and growing economy that has performed better than a number of its peers in Southeast Asia on a number of economic and social indicators. From 2008-14, GDP growth has averaged 5.4%, outperforming both the OECD average and a number of ASEAN economies. The Philippines has a relatively young population, which will be a key source of future growth and competitiveness. However, youth unemployment sits at 16% with many young people facing a number of challenges in finding work after they leave school. Another labour market challenge relates to the large informal sector in the Philippines. The latest estimates available show that 10.4 million people were working informally, and in 2014, 38.6% of workers were in a vulnerable form of employment.

  • The OECD is engaging with ASEAN economies to help them prepare evidence-based approaches to job creation, employment and productivity. This includes applying an OECD gap assessment in three case study areas, including 1) Taguig City; 2) Cebu City; and 3) Davao City. In these areas, in-depth work based on quantitative analysis, as well as document reviews and interviews with key stakeholders was undertaken to analyse local employment and economic development activities.

  • This chapter provides an overview of the key macro-level trends in the Philippines as well as an overview of the key departments and organisations managing employment and skills programmes. The Philippines recovered quickly following the global economic crisis. During the period between 2008-14, average GDP growth was 5.4%, outperforming both the OECD average and a number of ASEAN peers including Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Responsibilities for labour market policies and vocational education and training are relatively decentralised in the Philippines. Local government units play an important role in linking people to jobs and developing training programmes with employers.

  • To better understand the role of the local level in contributing to job creation and productivity, this review examined employment and economic development programme activities in Taguig City, Cebu City, and Davao City. This chapter provides a labour market and economic overview of each city as well as the results from an OECD analysis which looks at place-based skills mismatches at the local level in the Philippines.

  • This chapter highlights findings from a policy implementation assessment tool that was applied in the Philippines. The findings are discussed through four thematic areas examined by the OECD: 1) better aligning policies and programmes to local economic development; 2) adding value through skills; 3) targeting policy to local employment sectors and investing in quality jobs; and 4) being inclusive.

  • This chapter outlines the key recommendations emerging from a review of local job creation policies in the Philippines. These include measures that should be considered by the national government as well as the cities of Taguig, Cebu, and Davao to better connect people to jobs, stimulate more responsive skills development training at the local level, and ensure that economic development efforts are better coordinated with employment programmes.