Law and Labour Market Regulation in East Asia

By Sean Cooney; Tim Lindsey et al. | Go to book overview

4

The development of labour law and labour market policy in the Philippines

Froilan Bacungan and Rene Ofreneo


Introduction: a political economy approach to Philippines labour law

This chapter seeks to examine the evolution of labour regulation in the Philippines and its impact on the labour market in order to draw broad conclusions about the nature of the relationship between labour law and economic and social change. Given these objectives, a historical perspective is adopted to correlate the introduction of labour laws with changes in the social and economic spheres at different historical junctures. Following this, a brief review of the present state of labour law is undertaken, including an examination of the contribution of the courts to the development of labour law norms.

In an early pioneering study of the patterns of industrial relations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Sharma argued that the level of socio-economic development of a country was the main determinant of the kind of labour policies and laws that it exhibited (Sharma 1985). For example, a society with an underdeveloped but industrialising economy would tend to restrict labour rights to hasten the accumulation process, while a mature and developed economy would be more tolerant of such rights. Kuruvilla also has explored the link between levels or stages of industrialisation and cross-country differences in labour policies and industrial relations, although he has criticised the supposition that industrial relations systems will necessarily be similar in countries at the same level of industrialisation (Kuruvilla 1995, 1996). 1

The central argument in this chapter is that the dynamic relationship between labour regulations and the labour market is affected by the equally dynamic but unpredictable relationship between the major production or industrial relations actors, against a general backdrop of a highly uneven accumulation or industrialisation process. In our view this necessitates the adoption of a political economy approach, including an understanding of the ‘linkages between the “economic” and the “political”’, and which draws from both of the ‘conventionally separated fields of industrial relations … and political science’ (Wever and Turner 1995:2).

The nature of the relationship between labour laws and the labour market is defined by a complete set of interactions between different actors, and at different

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Law and Labour Market Regulation in East Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - Labour Law and Labour Market Regulation in East Asian States 1
  • References 22
  • 2 - Labour Law in Indonesia After Soeharto 27
  • Notes 50
  • 3 - Law and Labour Market Regulation in Malaysia 55
  • 4 - The Development of Labour Law and Labour Market Policy in the Philippines 91
  • 5 - Vietnam’s Labour Market 122
  • References 153
  • 6 - Economic Reform and Labour Market Regulation in China 157
  • Notes 181
  • 7 - Taiwan’s Labour Law 185
  • 8 - Law and Labour-Management Relations in South Korea 215
  • 9 - What is Labour Law Doing in East Asia? 246
  • Index 275
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