MANILA, Philippines – Workers nationwide can look forward to better days, the Department of Labor and Employment said yesterday.
Labor Undersecretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the country’s employment situation is expected to get better within the next three months despite the global financial crisis – thanks largely to buoyant industries like Business Process Outsourcing.
By mid-2009, Baldoz said BPO is projected to generate as much as 120,000 new jobs nationwide.
Indicating that the worst is over on the labor front, DOLE Secretary Marianito Roque said 15,000 displaced workers have returned to regular work.
“There is an indication that more affected workers would be returning to their regular jobs soon as investors are now coming in to the country to put up business,” Roque said.
Baldoz, meanwhile, noted that the sluggish mining and construction sectors are also expected to bounce back.
“The country is anticipating the operation of seven mining firms for this year and the infusion of $15 billion investment until 2013 would create new jobs for engineers, mining laborers and other related workers,” Baldoz disclosed.
The real estate sector is also seen to recover in the coming months and the demand for overseas Filipino workers will continue, she added.
According to Baldoz, Philippine Labor offices in the Middle East have monitored 106,800 new jobs for Filipino workers in the first quarter of the year and the number does not yet include the job orders from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
“While there will be still workers displacement, we expect it to be slower pace and only in the export and the manufacturing sector,” Baldoz pointed out.
Based on data from DOLE’s Bureau of Employment and Statistics, Baldoz said the daily average retrenchment has gone down by 40 from 437 in mid-March.
“Since the impact of the crisis was felt in October 2008, job losses were largely limited to the export sector, particularly the electronics and garment industries and confined in few regions, mostly in CALABARZON region,” Baldoz said.
Contrary to published reports, Baldoz said, only 109,529 workers have been affected by the global crisis. Of the total figure, only 11,574 were permanently displaced while the others were placed on flexible work arrangements.
Baldoz said there are reports that some of the companies affected by the crisis have started to recover as new orders have started to come in.
“Some ecozone locators have indicated that they may start recalling their workers as some of them are approaching some level of normalcy,” Baldoz reported.
She also said there are no new reports of dislocation of Filipino workers overseas.
“No new country has been added to the list of the 16 nations, which previously reported retrenchments of over 6,000,” Baldoz said.
She expressed confidence that the displaced workers will immediately find new employment in view of pump priming activities being readied by the government.
More than a million jobs are expected to be generated by the government’s pump priming efforts, including 10,000 nursing jobs in the country’s poorest municipalities.–Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star