Enactment, amendments of several laws to boost PH economic recovery

Business leaders are optimistic the country’s economy will  recover fast with its reopening, along with the new and amended laws that support businesses.

In a bulletin issued Wednesday, the Department of Finance (DOF) cited the creation of around 797,000 jobs in December 2021 following the easing of movement restrictions against the Covid-19 pandemic as the number of infections declined. 

Citing Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, the DOF bulletin said the bulk of the additional jobs last December were in the agriculture and industry sectors. Agriculture accounted for about 673,000 of the jobs, while some 326,000 were credited to the industry sector. 

These numbers countered the 202,000 declines in the number of jobs in the services sector, it added. Other sectors that posted improvements are manufacturing, which shared 325,000 jobs; hotels and restaurants, 1,542; and transportation, 146,000 jobs. 

The DOF bulletin said the easing of movement restrictions allowed the hotels and restaurants sub-sector, among others, to register “its highest pandemic-era figure” on additional jobs last December. 

Labor force participation rate increased to 65.09 percent last December, the highest during the pandemic, it added. 

While more people landed jobs last December, the bulletin said the number of unemployed increased by 113,000 “as the easing of quarantine restrictions encouraged more job seekers.” 

“Consequently, the employment rate slightly declined from 93.50% in November to 93.40% in December while  unemployment inched up from 6.50% to 6.60% over the same period,” it added. 

The bulletin likewise expressed optimism that the continued vaccination of population against Covid-19 “will help the country live with the virus,” warning, however, that “as always, the country needs to stay alert and not let its guard down as the virus continues to mutate.”  

For the medium to long-term, it noted that that the enactment of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which economic managers consider as the biggest stimulus measure of the government to address the pandemic’s impact, “will be huge help.”

Other measures seen to help further increase investments in the country and create more jobs, include the amended Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA).