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2,500 CL workers displaced, 2,500 more to lose jobs

Monday, January 26, 2009 [ ]

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The labor sector here is experiencing the effects of the global economic crisis as half of about employees from different companies in four provinces of Central Luzon have already been displaced with the other half facing retrenchment, force leave or reduced hours at work.

Records from the Daily Global Financial Crisis Report of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) here revealed that from the last quarter of 2008, about 2,166 employees from six manufacturing and electronic companies in Pampanga, Bulacan and Tarlac have been displaced.

The employees came from Currey International Inc., Furniture Village, Sub-Miniature Lamps Industries Inc., Hi-tech Steel Industries Corporation, International Wiring Systems (Phils.) Corporation, International Electric Wire Phils., and Champion Foundry Corporation.

The Dole said most of the workers affected are from the industries of electronics and manufacturing. The report furthered that about 459 others had to be “reduced their hours at work” due to slow down in company operations.

From the period of January 1 to 23, the Dole reported that about 21 employees from a semiconductor company in Pampanga will soon face retrenchment. This, however, is eclipsed by the scheduled retrenchment of 65 employees of a cement company in Bulacan.

About 30 employees are also scheduled for temporary lay-off at Etelecare Clark Services Inc., while all 90 employees of Meisei Electronics Phils. Corp will be “temporarily” out of jobs as their company goes on a temporary shutdown. Both companies are inside the Clark Freeport.

In Zambales, about 1,175 employees of Nidec Subic Phils. Corporation are scheduled for forced leave, 342 employees of Sanyo Denki Phils. Inc. are set to be given reduced workdays, and 86 employees are to be affected by the temporary shutdown of Philippine Inter Electronics Corporation.

Despite the figures, however, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said the government is ready to help displace workers that would be affected by the continuing global financial crisis. Fajardo said there are still available jobs in the call center and business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

“This figure, though alarming for some, is the reality. But the government have been doing its part to provide safety nets to those affected by the crisis,” Dole regional director Nathaniel Lacambra said.

Lacambra said Labor Secretary Marianito Roque has reported that between December 1 and January 19, about 15,600 workers were laid off and 19,000 others had their shifts or working hours reduced.

The Livelihood Augmentation program of the Dole has released P5 million for Pampanga in terms of job referral, retraining, and livelihood and augmentation programs.

On Monday, Dole also facilitated the release of about a P12-million financial assistance and livelihood projects in Bataan and another P18 million for Bulacan.

However, Fajardo admitted that the problem facing the government now is finding jobs for those affected by the crisis is glaring mismatch in manpower skills and qualifications.

“Even if we do have more job vacancies in other industries, the mismatch prevents the easy absorption of those that lost their jobs. The government is working to address this problem overtime,” Fajardo said. (IOF)


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