12,500 laid off at PEZA zones

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 18:34:00 02/11/2009

Filed Under: Unemployment, World Financial Crisis

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) Some 12,500 workers have been laid off at Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) zones since October, PEZA Director General Lilia de Lima said.

Some companies at the zones have shortened workweeks from seven days to six and workdays from three eight-hour shifts to two, De Lima said.

“They’re adapting shorter work hours so that they can hold on to their people, because it is difficult and costly to train” new personnel, she said.

On the other hand, the PEZA has approved applications of 560 companies to set up factories in PEZA zones, De Lima said.

“They’re now starting to create. They’re also starting to hire,” she said. “I want also to emphasize that some companies are also expanding: medical instrumentation, disposable syringes.”

Employment at PEZA zones was up 2.54 percent last year said.

Regarding US-based chipmaker Intel Corp., which announced last month that it would close down its Philippine plant and lay off the last thousand or so of its workers, De Lima said an Intel sister company, Numonyx, had hired 600 former Intel employees and would hire 400 more.(PDI)

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