Government can’t stop layoffs – DOLE

Published by rudy Date posted on April 24, 2009

The government cannot stop employers from laying off workers to cushion the impact of the world economic crisis, the labor department said yesterday.

However, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said the government is looking at measures to address the ill effects of the crisis.

To protect workers from the financial crunch, the government has granted a tax break to minimum wage earners and additional exemption for those receiving more than the mandated minimum pay, he added.

Roque said the Department of Trade and Industry is also reviewing the possibility of regulating prices of rice and other essential commodities.

Concerned government agencies are also discussing a proposal to suspend the impending implementation of the planned rationalization program, he added.

Labor groups have asked the government to defer the implementation of the rationalization which could lead to retrenchment of thousands of government workers.

Yesterday, the Department of Labo and Employment held a dialogue with representatives of various industries to assess the current employment situation and come out with measures to help workers displaced by the economic crisis.

“We are holding this tripartite meeting also to see how far have we gone in our emergency employment assistance for displaced workers and what are the adjustments to be made,” Roque said.

The country’s largest labor group warned yesterday of more displacements in the local automotive industry.

Ernesto Herrera, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines secretary general, said the financial distres of US car industry players could set off incremental job losses in the Philippines.

Michigan-based Visteon Corp., the world’s second-largest automotive components supplier, has already hired legal and financial advisers to prepare for possible bankruptcy proceedings, he added.

Herrera said Visteon runs a manufacturing facility at the Greenfield Automotive Park Special Economic in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. –Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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