Tue, Jan 13, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: Manila: 2,500 Philippine workers lose Taiwan jobs

AFP , MANILA

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At least 2,500 Philippine workers have lost their jobs in Taiwan amid the global economic slowdown and more are expected to be sent home in the coming months, the Philippine government said last week.

A total of 2,500 Filipinos were laid off by factories in Taiwan adjusting to lower global demand, records kept by the Philippine Labor Department’s Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed.

The government agency expects the number to double this year unless there is a rapid global recovery — which seems unlikely at the moment.

Some 8 million Filipinos work or live abroad, remitting an estimated US$15 billion to their families back home in an effort that helps keep the Philippines economy afloat.

Taiwan employed some 90,000 Filipinos at the start of the crisis last year, said Jennifer Manalili, head of the POEA.

More than 100 were sent home last month, most of them workers in Taiwan’s microchip factories.

Philippine Labor Secretary Marianito Roque told reporters that Manila would be sending a team to Taiwan to help the Filipinos who lost their factory jobs.

“In the next two weeks, we will deploy an advance reintegration team to Taiwan to assist the affected OFWs [overseas Philippine workers],” Roque said.

The team would canvass employers “for possible redeployment before they return to the country, or referrals to other companies there,” he said.

Manalili said Manila considers Taiwan’s export manufacturing sector to be “vulnerable” as the financial crisis deepens.

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