53 firms welcome back retrenched workers

Published by rudy Date posted on March 31, 2009

Over 14,000 Filipino workers who were temporarily laid off and those hit by the flexible working hours as an effect of the global financial crisis have now gone back to regular employment, the Department of Labor and Employment said in a statement Monday.

Some 14,021 Filipino workers in 53 companies returned to their employments as the firms have resumed normal operations.

According to the statement, the biggest number of affected workers who have returned to their jobs, 7,975 in 29 firms, is concentrated in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) area. Next are the workers in Central Luzon, 2,418 in 11 firms, Region 12 Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani), 1,712 workers in seven firms, and the Cordillera Administrative Region, 1,588 in two firms.

However, the temporarily laid-off workers and those affected by the flexible working hours represent a small portion of the 40,000 worker who have been retrenched in the Philippines.

Labor Chief Marianito Roque noted that firms from economic zones affected by the crisis started to recover as new job orders are reported to have started coming in.

“The positive development is an indication that more affected workers would be returning to their regular jobs,” Roque said in the same statement, adding that even if the crisis hit most parts of the world, it can be noted that investors are still coming to the Philippines and have put up businesses that generated employments for Filipinos.

He noted the new investors in the Cavite Economic Zone and the growth of the tourism industry, which resulted in more employment as new hotels and resorts have sprung up in the country.

Roque said the anticipated operation of seven mining firms starting this year and it infusion of $15 billion in investments would create jobs for engineers and mining laborers.

He said further that the displacement of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) has been halted as the demand for Filipino workers in other countries has resumed.

Taiwan, which displaced the most number of OFWs last year, now expects its economy to pick up in the fourth quarter this year and has started to rehire some 851 workers. A total of 468 new OFWs have also found jobs in Taiwan in March this year, according to the data from the Manila Economic Cultural Office.

The Middle East countries remain as top destinations for OFWs, Roque said.

Roque said the number of retrenched OFWs still stands at 6,000, as opposed to recent reports that put the total figure of retrenched OFWs to 12,000.

Earlier, Labor official Reydeluz Conferido reported that only 11,000 of the 40,000 locally displaced Filipino workers are considered permanently displaced. –Bernice Camille V. Bauzon, Reporter, Manila Times

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