Tue, Dec 23, 2008 - Page 1 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: Sluggish economy taking its toll on Filipino workers

BAD NEWS Between 2,400 and 3,000 workers could be displaced by the end of the month and another 3,000 dismissed in the first quarter next year

AP , MANILA

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More than 2,000 Filipino workers have lost their jobs in Taiwan because of the global financial crisis and that number could triple by the end of the first quarter next year, Philippine diplomats said last Tuesday.

Manila Economic and Cultural Office Managing Director Antonio Basilio said that 2,073 workers had been dismissed from 49 factories since October.

“It’s part of the global recession because the economy here is export-dependent,” Basilio said by phone from Taipei.

Labor attache Rodolfo Sabulao said between 2,400 and 3,000 workers could be displaced by the end of the month and another 3,000 could be dismissed in the first quarter of next year as the financial crisis continues to batter Taiwan’s export sector.

About two-thirds of an estimated 90,000 Filipino workers in Taiwan are employed in factories.

Basilio said the situation was “not as dire as some people have speculated,” citing continued hiring of Filipino workers as maids, caretakers, construction workers and service industry employees.

The two countries have agreed to allow direct-hiring of Filipino workers by accredited Taiwanese companies starting in January.

This will relieve Filipino workers from paying exorbitant placement fees to job recruitment firms and monthly fees to employment brokers.

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