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Clark CEO says freeport coping with global crisis

Thursday, January 29, 2009 [ ]

CLARK FREEPORT: Clark Development Corp. (CDC) President and Chief Executive Officer Benigno Ricafort said on Wednesday that no massive layoffs are expected here.

He clarified that he did not make employment projections amid a report that 40,000 workers would be retrenched in Clark.

Ricafort said the Freeport would continue to make a strong showing despite the worldwide economic slowdown as companies continue to invest in this former United States military installation.

“Both local and international firms have continued to eye Clark for their investments assured that employment opportunities in this Freeport remain strong,” he said.

Ricafort made the statement in reaction to a television report that claimed that more than 1,300 employees have been laid-off from Clark and 40,000 more workers are to lose their jobs this year.

The CDC president lamented that the report was erroneous and did not reflect the actual employment statistics here.

Ricafort clarified that as of November 2008 to January 15, 2009 only 1,378 workers from 12 firms here have been affected by the financial crisis.

He said the affected workers are mostly contractual employees hired during peak seasons to meet the increase in demand; of the 1,378 workers, 60 percent were temporarily laid-off, while 30 percent were permanently laid-off, and the remaining 10 percent are being planned for lay-off.

Of the 12 companies, six are into garments manufacturing, four are involved in information and communications technology, and two are from the industrial sector.

The two industrial firms, Rica­fort added, have permanently closed down but only 58 employees were affected.

According to Ricafort, the figures only reflect 2 percent of the total employment figures of Clark that boasts of a strong 57,790 workforce as of January 2009.


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