BSP launches book on the pandemic’s effects on labor market

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Research Academy launched its first book, Labor Market Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines, in a ceremony held on 1 March 2023 at the BSP head office in Manila.

In his opening remarks, BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla said, “Much remains to be learned about the economic implications of COVID-19 pandemic not just in the labor market, but as I already said, [also in] the development of human capital.”

The publication presents different mechanisms by which the health crisis has affected various aspects of the labor market, including employment, labor productivity, wages, human capital investment, and consumption and saving.

Aside from the impact of the pandemic on the labor sector, the book tackles policy coordination among monetary, financial, and fiscal authorities, and new organizing frameworks and econometric methods that support the understanding of the operations of labor markets.

The 400-page book features fifteen (15) chapters written by economic experts and public policy officials, including former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and University of the Philippines (UP) School of Economics Professorial Lecturer Dr. Emmanuel F. Esguerra, former BSP Deputy Governor and Head of the BSP Research Academy (BRAc) Dr. Maria Almasara Cyd N. Tuano-Amador, and Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) President Dr. Aniceto C. Orbeta, Jr., as well as other specialists from the BRAc and BSP Department of Economic Research (DER), professors from the UP School of Economics (UPSE) and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), and research fellows from the PIDS. Dr. Dante B. Canlas, former socioeconomic planning secretary and professor emeritus at UP, served as its editor.

Dr. Canlas, who readily accepted the editorship, said, “It was an opportunity for me to think about emerging policies and strategies geared toward full employment.” According to him, labor economics has been evolving and has been fine-tuned to serve public policy objectives, including the conduct of monetary policy.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Monetary Board Member Eli M. Remolona, BSP Deputy Governors Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Mamerto E. Tangonan, and other BSP senior officials witnessed the book launch as special guests.

Other authors from the BSP include Dr. Joselito R. Basilio and Dr. Veronica B. Bayangos (Principal Researchers, BRAc), Zeno Ronald R. Abenoja (Managing Director, DER); Dr. Laura Britt-Fermo, Dr. Faith Christian Q. Cacnio, Dr. Hazel Parcon-Santos, and Jose Eduardo P. Sto. Domingo (+) (Senior Researchers, BRAc), Marites B. Oliva (Bank Officer VI, BRAc); Jasmin E. Dacio (Deputy Director, DER) and Cherrie R. Mapa (Supervising Bank Economist, DER); Mark Rex S. Romaraog (Bank Officer V, DER); Marie Edelweiss G. Romarate (Bank Officer II, BRAc), Neil Fidelle G. Lomibao and Carl Francis C. Maliwat (Central Bank Associates. BRAc), and Irene Rose Imson (Senior Research Specialist, BRAc); and Michael Lawrence G. Castanares (Bank Economist II, DER).

Authors from other institutions include Dr. Sarah Lynne Salvador Daway-Ducanes, Dr. Karl Robert L. Jandoc, and Dr. Renato E. Reside, Jr. (Associate Professors, UPSE); Dr. Geoffrey Ducanes (Associate Professor, ADMU); and Dr. Michael R.M. Abrigo, Dr. Connie Bayudan-Dacuycuy, Dr. Margarita Debuque-Gonzales, and Dr. Valerie Gilbert T. Ulep (Senior Research Fellows, PIDS); Dr. Charlotte Justine Diokno-Sicat and Dr. Ma. Christina F. Epetia (Research Fellows, PIDS), John Paul P. Corpus (Supervising Research Specialist PIDS), Robert Hector G. Palomar (Senior Research Specialist, PIDS), and Ricxie B. Maddawin and Mark Gerald C. Ruiz (Research Analysts, PIDS).

The BSP and the writers of the book hope that this book will be a useful addition to the body of knowledge that will help monetary policy, in particular, and public policy, in general, steer the country towards its main development objectives.

A copy of the book is available here. <>


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