The Department of Labor and Employment today said only 312 workers from the automotive and electronics sectors at the Laguna Technopark in Laguna province lost their jobs due primarily to the global financial crisis contrary to an earlier news report alleging that about 35,000 automotive and electronics workers from the Laguna Technopark have been displaced.
This developed as a One Stop Shop Service Caravan at the Cultural and Convention Center in General Trias, Cavite held Thursday, Jan. 22, to kick off this year’s nationwide program aimed at bringing employment and livelihood opportunities and other services to the grassroots, particularly to workers adversely affected by the financial crisis.
Citing a report from the DOLE Regional Office in Calamba, Laguna (DOLE RO IV-A), Sec. Marianito D. Roque said there were no actual displacements of such magnitude (35,000) even as displacements and slowdown of company operations occurred in Laguna and other provinces in the Calabarzon.
Retrenchment reports filed by affected firms with DOLE RO IV-A, he said, showed that a total of 10,344 workers in Calabarzon were displaced from October 2008 to January 19, 2009. Of the total, about 1,511 displaced workers were from Laguna 343 of whom were automotive and electronics workers. Out of the latter, 312 workers came from the Laguna Technopark.
In response to the global crisis, Roque said the DOLE has strengthened the Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) in all its regional offices to facilitate its delivery of assistance and services to the affected workers.
Among other tasks, the QRTs conduct profiling of the displaced workers to determine their skills and assistance that may be extended them. Assistance includes helping them find another job locally or overseas. They may also be assisted in setting up income generating projects. PGMA training for work scholarships shall also be granted to workers who want to train in appropriate skills.
To bring the DOLE services closer to the affected workers including those from overseas, Roque said that a series of Serbisyo Caravans shall also be conducted this year at the municipal, city, and provincial levels in coordination with Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), employers, and recruitment agencies.
In Calabarzon, the Caravans shall be held at the following: Gen. Trias, Cavite (Jan. 22); Calamba City (Jan. 31); Taytay, Rizal (Feb. 6); Quezon Province (Feb. 6); and Batangas City (Feb.12).
Roque cited the Caravan held at Gen. Trias Cavite which was participated in by local employers and recruitment agencies offering thousands of local and overseas jobs to jobseekers including those who lost their jobs due to the financial crisis.
The Labor and Employment Secretary noted that despite the crisis, there are still hundreds of thousands of overseas jobs that are available for Filipino workers. These jobs are found mostly in countries that have not so much been affected by the financial crisis such as those in the Middle East and in emerging markets in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Bulgaria.
Local employment, on the other hand, shall come from industries that rely mainly on domestic consumption, which shall be complemented with pump-priming projects of the government, Roque said.
Aside from employment facilitation and livelihood services, the Caravan shall also provide pre-employment services to the new entrants to the labor force. Personnel from the Social Security System (SSS), National Bureau of Investigation, PhilHealth, and the National Statistics Office shall be at the Caravan for workers seeking their services.