Mindanao exporters to keep employees—for now

Published by rudy Date posted on March 23, 2009

MANILA, Philippines — Exporters based in the Northern Mindanao region will maintain their employee numbers despite significant decline in sales, according to a survey by the Confederation of Philippine Exporters Foundation Region 10 Inc.

The exporters surveyed, representing a quarter of the group’s 100 members, said they would keep their employees, in a bid to corner potential clients and prepare for eventual market recovery.

The respondents came from such diverse industries as wood, food, gifts, toys and house ware, industrial manufacturing, and services.

“Volumes are declining, but orders still keep on coming,” the industrial goods manufacturers said.

The wood exporters added: “It is not a good time to retrench, crisis or no crisis. It is very hard to look for good skilled labor.”

They would, however, evaluate within the month whether or not any layoffs were necessary in light of the global recession.

Some businesses, particularly those in the service sector, said their organizations were already too lean to cut the number of workers some more.

While committed to maintaining their employee numbers this year, the Northern Mindanao exporters urged the government to reduce the cost of doing business in the country to enable them to better ride out the crisis.

“It is the high cost of doing business, inadequate government services and low productivity that are keeping businesses from growing, both in good and bad times,” the food exporters’ group said.

The gifts, toys and house ware exporters added: “It is not a question of crisis, as markets can always be developed. The problem is still raw materials and cost of doing business.” –Abigail L. Ho, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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