Displacements bottom out temporary laid off workers, in flexi work return to regular employment

Published by rudy Date posted on April 5, 2009

The effects of the global crisis on the employment of Filipino workers have bottomed out as displacements due to the crisis stood still with the return to their regular jobs of some 14,021 temporarily laid off workers and those under flexible work arrangements in 53 firms, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque cited data from the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) which showed that the biggest number of affected workers who have returned to their regular work are in Region IV-A (Calabarzon) totaling to 7,975 in 29 firms. Region 3 (Central Luzon) followed with 2,418 workers in 11 firms, Region 12 (Davao) with 1,712 workers in seven firms, and CAR with 1,588 workers in two firms.

Roque said that some firms in economic zones affected by the crisis have started to recover as new orders started to come in.

He said these firms are slowly returning to their normal operations and subsequently to normal work hours for their workers in flexible work arrangements, adding that workers who were laid off on a temporary basis due to the crisis were also called back to work.

\”The positive development is an indication that more affected workers would be returning to their regular jobs,\” the DOLE Chief said noting that even as the crisis reels in many parts of the world, investors are coming to the Philippines to put up business and subsequently generate employment for the workers.

He cited the new investors at the Cavite Economic Zone and projected investments in tourism particularly in the establishment of new hotels and resorts in the country.

The country is also anticipating the operation of seven mining firms this year and the infusion of about US$15 billion investments, which would create new jobs for engineers, mining laborers, and other related workers, Roque said.

Overseas, the Labor and Employment Secretary said the displacement of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) also halted as the demand for OFWs continues. He noted that in Taiwan, where the biggest number of displaced OFWs came from, also started to rehire OFWs.

Citing data from the Manila Economic Cultural Office (MECO), Roque said that a total of 468 OFWs found jobs in Taiwan in March this year. Another 851 displaced OFWs were re-hired by their employers in Taiwan.

The Labor Secretary said companies affected by the global crisis are keeping the OFWs to avoid losing their quotas and in anticipation of improvement in the economy of Taiwan in the fourth quarter.

MECO data also indicated that displacements of foreign workers in Taiwan have been marginalized. During this same period, no OFW in this country was laid off due to the crisis.

Roque also noted that no additional OFW dislocation was recorded, saying that the number of OFWs displaced by the global crisis remained at 6,000 and not 12,000 as alleged by reports.

He said the situation in many countries with OFWs appear to have stabilized as the demand for Filipino manpower by foreign employers still continues.

The Middle East (ME) countries, he said, remain the top countries of destination for OFWs.

For the first quarter of 2009, Roque said the Philippine Labor Offices in ME have monitored 106,800 new job opportunities for OFWs excluding the job orders registered with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). –Philippine Daily Inquirer

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