Several apparel companies at the Mactan Export Processing Zone in Cebu province have announced that they have to lay off 4,000 workers this week as economic conditions made it harder for them to operate.
Based on a recent statement, the affected companies are Mactan Apparels Inc, Metro Wear, Inc., Globalwear Manufacturing Inc., Eeeder Apparel Corporation, and Vertex One Apparel Phils.
They are some of the companies that had to temporarily cease operations during the height of the pandemic and accommodate their employees again when restrictions were eased.
The same firms cited global recession as among the reasons for letting their workers go.
“As the world is now in the brink of, global recession with higher-than-expected inflation and the global financial conditions are becoming tighter, our business and that of our customers are not an exemption especially being classified as a non-essential and luxury product,” the statement read.
They said they were also affected by Typhoon Odette in 2021, supply chain issues, and rising fuel prices.
“The sudden dropping and reduction of orders from our clients while increasing operational costs left us to face head-on to deal with the economic struggles and financial shortage thus, our Company perceived objectively and in good faith the need to downsize our current manpower through retrenchment program,” the statement added.
The companies are still keeping at least 75 percent of their workforce.
They also promised separation pay for affected workers.
The huge number of affected workers, who are mostly residents of Lapu-Lapu City, urged the local government unit to extend help.
Mayor Ahong Chan ordered the Public Employment Services Office to prioritize them for new jobs.
Local officials also plan to ask the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to conduct skills training for affected workers.
Lapu-Lapu City’s council has approved a request to the Department of Social Welfare and Development to provide cash assistance to the workers.
- Report from Annie Perez