The Department of Finance said over the weekend vital economic reforms are needed to attract more foreign investments and create more jobs for Filipinos.
It said in an economic bulletin the reforms include the amendments to the Foreign Investment Act, Public Service Act and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act.
“Medium- to long-term, the passage of the amendments to the Foreign Investment Act, Public Service Act and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act will help bring in more capital, generate more employment, and make the economy more competitive,” it said.
“We should make good use of foreign capital and know-how..., “ it said.
The agency said the threat of the coronavirus and its more virulent Delta variant posed serious challenges to the economy and the labor market.
It said the health risks should be managed well and the spread of the virus should be prevented. Vaccine administration is expected to help deliver individual protection to the population.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed more than 3.8 million people dropped out of the labor force in July, compared to June, amid the continuing threat of the COVID-19 virus and the emergence of a more virulent strain.
The PSA said the decrease in the labor force could be traced to the economy losing more than 3.4 million in employed persons and the 690,000 decline in the unemployed.
“As a result, the unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 percent in June to 6.9 percent in July, the lowest since the pandemic struck,” the PSA said.
The labor force participation rate in July fell to 59.8 percent, or equivalent to 44.7 million Filipinos who were either employed or unemployed. The July 2021 LFPR was the lowest reported rate this year, from 60.5 percent in January 2021 and 63.2 percent in April 2021. It was also lower than 61.9 percent in July 2020.
Underemployed persons were estimated at 8.7 million in July, or 20.9 percent of the 41.7 million employed individuals during the period. This was the highest underemployment rate since the pandemic began in April 2020.
Data showed that the average hours worked by an employed person in July was 41.8 hours in a week. This was the highest mean hours worked in a week by employed persons this year. In July 2020, the average hours worked by employed person in a week was 38.2 hours.
By broad industry group, the services sector continued to account for the largest share of employed persons with 57.9 percent, followed by the agriculture sector with 22.1 percent and the industry sector with the least share of employed persons with 20 percent.
Employed persons in the industry and services sectors increased by 7.2 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively, from July 2020 to July 2021. Workers in the agriculture sector decreased by 15.5 percent over the same period.