Employment discrimination in the Philippines

I've always wondered..and would really like to know the real reason.  I'm addressing this to anyone who is familiar with the employment, hiring, recruiting system used in the Philippines.  I have been helping a friend write an effective resume..sorry, I mean c.v. (as known in the Philippines), that has not (before I revised it), for whatever reason, yielded any positive results as far as even getting invited for interview.
When I checked her resume, I was shocked that she included personal information that I felt had no business being in a c.v.   She showed her date of birth, place of birth, marital status, etc.  I was appalled that such information is still being expected...if not required by employers in the Philippines.  I revised her resume...removed all that information that has no bearing on her skills and abilities and other "job-related" qualities needed to do the job she's applying to.  Shortly after she submitted her new, revised, c.v....she started getting calls for interviews!  I was thrilled of course. 
That was about two months ago.  Of course, she has since been hired in a job she enjoys doing...and paid according to her skills and abilities. 
But I still wanted to find out why most ads I read for jobs in the Philippines stipulate that the applicant not be older than 35.  Apparently, this seems to apply mostly to women.  Then I checked c.v. samples on a Philippines job website...and that's how I learned...and was shocked how much personal information applicants put on their c.v.'s.   Some ads even boldly specify that they want males only...or females only!   But I failed to find ads (for males) that has the same age restriction imposed on women.  I knew that was the way job ads were advertised back many years ago...when I was growing up in the Philippines.  But I didn't think the old sexist attitude is still in vogue these days!  These are the kinds of labor violations that can get employers in the U.S. sued..pay a hefty fine, go to jail...or all of the above. 
  My question then is...why age 35?  What is so magical about that age?  Is that when a woman is deemed no longer capable of doing the job she is highly qualified for?  Oh...by the way, I've also seen ads indicating that the applicant must be single!   I was told that there was a female senator or congresswoman who introduced a law that would make such discriminatory practices illegal...but I heard that it didn't pass the vote required to make it law.   Too bad.  I would really be grateful for your answers to the questions about the flagrant and open discriminatory practices in employment in the Philippines.  By the way, I have more than 25 years of experience as HR Manager in the U.S. so I am very familiar with discriminatory laws and issues.

I see many jobs here advertised. Police clearance required.  So a background check for jobs I assume.

James Mitchel-  Police clearance or background checks are an acceptable normal procedure in the employment process...which is not discriminatory provided it is equally required for all applicants.   My post concerns discriminatory practices on the basis of age, race, regional or national origin, marital status, religion, gender, and such restrictions that have no bearing in any way to one's ability to carry out the duties/responsibilities of the job.

Well yes if you go to most stores here, or front desk job's.  You do notice they like younger lady's to fill those jobs.   Once you get up into management.  You notice older lady's are there.  So lots of age and looks discrimination in the Philippines.   Once they get so old they do tend to hire a younger lady for many jobs based on looks.  And if the older lady has not advanced she is out the door.  So lots of younger lady's work sort term in some jobs here. Knowing that when the looks start to go  so does the job.

Once hired you cannot be forcibly retired until you are 60 years of age; though there is no law on age discrimination (there is already a bill passed in 2011);

What I feel the work conditions are the ones that need to be improved! You cannot have people stand with high heels for 4 hrs; with breaks only of 15 minutes; you need to be young

James Mitchel, Cynthiavilla- thanks.  Yes, I am aware of working conditions.  Of course, that's another concern that should be addressed where applicable.  And I am glad a bill was passed in 2011...although I am not sure if that's the one I was referring to...one that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, etc.   If so, how is it being enforced?  Is it working?   Apparently, the age-old perception, concept, belief...whatever you want to call it, by many employers that folks passed a certain age (again, I'm referring to that magic age of not more than 35 requirement in job ads I frequently see in the Philippines) are deemed no longer capable of keeping up with the work.  A belief that just doesn't seem to fade away.  With regard to "ability"...both mentally and physically, I have encountered employees in their 30s and 40s who are incapable of dealing and resolving simple day-to-day job issues...much less the ability to carry out the routine duties and responsibilities assigned to them; and/or they are in such bad physical shape that they are constantly taking sick leave due to their conditions.  Yet, I've worked with people (men and women) in their late 60s...and as old as 82, who are able to keep up..and outdo much younger employees and rarely took time off due to illness.  When I was at my last job in Germany, we hired a retired former employee and brought him on board at age 70.  We couldn't keep up with that fellow's stamina, wisdom, perseverance and thoroughness in handling the difficult and complex job he was hired to do.  Not only was he such a hard worker, he was well liked by everyone.  He was an "outside the box" thinker...and always came up with innovative ways of solving problems.  So there goes that theory about age and performance not being compatible!  Again,  the excuse of employees who are passed up for promotion by a certain age are deemed washed out is hardly valid and should be discarded; such concept has no merit.  Anyway, I am referring to the initial hiring process.  Why do I keep seeing job ads in the Philippines that require applicants to be under 35?  Or why some, say males only need apply...or females only need apply.  Apparently the traditional belief that certain jobs are appropriate for men; and certain jobs are for women only is still stuck in the minds of many employers in the country.  No longer valid today.   Or even 30 years ago.   I am still looking for reasons why
discrimination by age, gender, and other reasons...are still blatantly practiced in the Philippines.  Siyanga pala, why many of the c.v.'s in the Philippines that I have researched....have the applicant's photo on the c.v.?  Is this a requirement?  Once I received an application complete with the applicant's photo...showing him with his family...and the family dog in front of a church.  I wondered why?  It's like the applicant was sending a message..."Hey, look, I am a decent looking, God-fearing Christian with a loving family (and pet)...so I should be hired!"   I returned his application and photo back to him...with my note that it is illegal to include a photograph of the applicant in the application.  Thank you for putting up with my questions (and ranting).  There is a reason for this...I can explain if you want me to.

I understood where you are coming from; working in Vancouver  and holding a position of a Financial Controller for 20 years, I was surprised when job street an employment agency asked me to send my resume with a picture; I eventually got hired though as Director of a company here;

There is no particular law making it illegal to require an applicant to be of certain age, sex, and status; as a matter of fact, there are blank (templates) of Bio-Data being sold in Recto that applicant can simply fill up; the 1st few lines requires applicants to answer marital status, gender and age, of course with a box for picture;

I have been involved in hiring people here in the Philippines and received curriculum vitae (resume) with pictures and personal informations such as age, status, gender and even health conditions; I do not really look at the pictures because pictures now can be manipulated; this should be removed from the cv (a.k.a. Bio-data);

Depending on the job openings, age,status, and gender will be considered in selecting the candidates! I am guilty of this too! When the jobs entail traveling, I will prefer to hire male; I will not hire a married woman with children neither a woman if the area of assignment will be dangerous! and also the biggest factor is that the Philippines have the luxury of having a young population to choose from; however, I have also seen that age no longer matters and it is now experience and educations matters when the positions are in the Chief Executive levels;

Companies here also requires candidates to be medically examined to determine if fit for the job;

When I look at the format of resume in Canada and in the States, the resume starts with your accomplishments and contributions to the companies you worked, then experience, then educations and I believe the most important is the reference section;

Thank you again, Cynthiavilla for a comprehensive lesson on hiring practices in the Philippines.  Discrimination is not totally gone in the U.S. by any means.  I still ran into cases where I would grill the selecting supervisor and ask why he (or she) selected a particular candidate and not the other that seemed to me far more qualified.  This supervisor told me (confidentially) that he noticed that the other candidate (that appeared better qualified) looked pregnant.  Fortunately, he did not ask or insinuated this fact during the interview.  One of my responsibilities as HR manager/advisor/consultantant, etc, was to act as a guardian angel to managers..to help keep them from getting in trouble, when there is a potential for violating EEOC and our agency's anti-discrimination policy, regulation or law.  And like guardian angels...I really can't stop them from doing stupid things if they wanted to.  As there appeared to be no such infraction openly committed (or can be proven) in this case, I advised him to keep it to himself and write a strong justification for selecting the other candidate.  It looked good and felt it would hold up in a court of law...should it get to that point.   At least, in the U.S., there is a mechanism in place to address violations of discrimination... with heavy fines/penalties that can seriously hurt a company; this seem to serve as a deterrent to hiring discrimination.  Yes, I am with you...certain jobs and certain working conditions are probably best suited for men...and some, for women.  But if a woman wants to do a man's job, why should she be prevented from doing so?  Or a man who wants to do a traditionally woman's job?  I had a nice sign on my desk when I was working in HR that read-  "The best man for a job could be woman."  It's up to employers to at least keep the doors of opportunity open to all...young, old, men, women...and those in between.   Can't just assume that just because the candidate is a woman or over 35, he or she can't do the job well.  One more I'd like to share concerning this topic:    Back when the idea of women flying airplanes was still sort of new (of course, I am aware of Amelia Earhart...long before this period)... I happened to be a passenger on a gigantic U.S. Air Force C-5 cargo aircraft (bigger than a 747) somewhere in California..heading to, I think Japan.  As I passed by the cockpit upon boarding....a smiling, about a 5 foot 6" female U.S. Air Force major greeted and welcomed me on board.  I asked the load master leading us to the seats who that lady was?  "That's the captain of this aircrarft.  The head pilot."  Wow...such a sweet, dainty lady flying this huge monster?  Thank goodness for equal opportunity!  As always, enjoyed blogging with you...and with all the others.  Learned much, and still learning more.

In my experience in hiring employees here, and firing us well, most candidates though they have credentials need extensive trainings; they need a lot of push to bring out their potentials;

As to legal issues in the labor, these are better handled by lawyers; most of our Human Resources Departments here are headed by lawyers; the employee can seek the Public Attorney's Office if they felt their rights as a worker is being violated; if the labor laws are followed it is difficult to terminate than to hire employees; actually, it is easier to terminate people in North America;

There are a lot of things going on in the labor force here in the Philippines that are bewildering!

know what you are saying about women handling men's job, I am one of those female that believe that women are equally capable with men;

One thing, I noticed here in the Philippines there are more women managers in most companies; highly educated young women; who does not have only one course on their belt but several;