The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently declared in a joint report "ASEAN Community 2015: Managing Integration for better jobs and shared prosperity" that the Philippines is poised to gain 1.3 million additional jobs once the ASEAN economic integration materializes in 2015.
According to ILO Country Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson, the Philippines could benefit from the integration because it is a member of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). However, for the country to fully reap the benefits, crucial changes in labor and social policies should be implemented first. He said the country’s affiliation with the AEC will enable it to sustain economic growth through job creation which will help Filipinos provide for their families, reducing poverty in the long run and driving inclusive growth.
The integration is anticipated to pave the way for a single market involving 10 countries: the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Also, it is expected to open up the movement of goods, services, investment, and skilled labor across the Southeast Asian region.
The study also pointed out that the trade integration could increase the country’s gross domestic product by 7.5 percent by 2025, driven by the economic and job advantages.