No massive layoffs of Filipinos working in Korea

Published by rudy Date posted on March 8, 2009

WHILE some companies in South Korea are replacing Filipinos with local workers to cut labor cost, this is the exception rather than the rule, South Korean Ambassador Choi Joong Kyung said yesterday.

There are at least 52,000 Filipinos working in South Korea.

“As of the moment, there are no massive layoffs. Everything is under control,” he told The Manila Times.

“The crisis is not forever and we need to keep the industries growing,” he added.

Citing that the presence of 100,000 Koreans here means there are more Koreans in the Philippines than Filipinos in South Korea, Ambassador Choi said. He said the Philippines should continue encouraging the entry of more Korean investors.

This is because the Philippines, he said, has a huge potential to be a global economic power.

South Korea is one of the largest foreign direct investor in the Philippines and the

country’s seventh largest trading partner. The Korean firm Hanjin shipyard in Subic alone employs at least 15,000 Filipinos.

“The Philippines has the potential to catapult itself as a global economic power.

The Philippines, with the help of Korea, can do it,” he said during the opening ceremony of the photo exhibit “Lasting Friendship” in commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The envoy pointed out that the country presents lucrative opportunities for investors in agriculture, energy and tourism, among others.

“I am not dreaming here. The Philippines has the potential, the question is, who will energize it?” he said.

“Private Korean firms going to the Philippines is a welcome development, it would be better if there would be large scale government-to-government initiatives.”

The envoy however conceded that South Korean foreign direct investments to the Philippines has gone down recently but this is only temporary.
–Llanesca T. Panti, Manila Times

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