THE Philippines has to take decisive action to prepare for the challenges that new forces—technology, climate change and demography—are bringing to the world of work, according to the head of the International Labor Organization (ILO)-Philippines.
Khalid Hassan, director of the ILO-Philippines, said technological developments, climate change and demographic shifts are transforming the future of work, and the nation must take steps to “seize the moment to unlock the opportunities” that come with these unprecedented transformative forces.
Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics will lead to job losses, as skills become obsolete. For instance, technological developments are forecast to put 56 percent of jobs in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-5 at high risk of automation over the next 20 years, said Hassan.
However, these same technological advances, along with the greening of economies will also create millions of jobs, if new opportunities are seized.
Moreover, the Philippines has to resolve the deficits that persist in the world of work, Hassan said, speaking at a recent conference in Manila on the future of work.
There is a need to create 9.5 million jobs in the Philippines by 2030 to match the labor force growth, he continued.
Currently, there are 1.1 million people in the Philippines who are unemployed, of whom 48 percent are youth; 13.7 million Filipino workers are employed in vulnerable employment; and 1.6 million workers in the country earn too little to escape poverty.
He also noted that in the Philippines, about 270 people die each year from work-related accidents, while over 109,700 days are lost due to cases of occupational injury.
There is also rising economic inequality. Hassan said the answer is for policymakers to draw up “a human-centered agenda,” a vision outlined in the ILO Global Commission Report on the Future of Work released in January 2019 and contained in the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work adopted on June 21, 2019. (Philexport News and Features)