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21 Jul 2023

Nestle Semilla, INQUIRER.Net

Philippines: Over 4,000 workers at two garment factories laid off due to 'financial constraints' & supply chain issues

"4,000 workers lose jobs in Cebu ecozone", 21 July 2023

At least 4,100 workers in two garment firms at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Lapu-Lapu City...have been laid off.

Kim Francisco, head of the city’s Public Employment Service Office...said the city government received reports that the downsizing of workers was necessary amid financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of Supertyphoon “Odette” (international name: Rai) in December 2021 and supply chain issues.

“At the moment, MEPZ’s businesses have dwindled. They have no other option but to retrench some of the workers [in order to survive],” he said.

All affected workers have been assured by the distressed firms that they would receive separation pay in accordance with the law, Francisco said.

The Mactan Export Processing Zone...has two zones—MEPZ 1 and MEPZ 2—both located in Lapu-Lapu City and employ at least 100,000 workers, according to city government records. Most of the business firms are Japanese-owned.

MEPZ 1...hosts approximately more than 100 companies. Among the products being manufactured in the zone are semiconductors, watches, fashion accessories and jewelry, among others. These products are exported mainly to Japan and the United States.

...Like MEPZ 1, most of the products in MEPZ 2 are electronic, automotive and garments that are being exported not only in Japan but also in the United States and other countries.

In 2020, about 4,400 workers at Mactan Export Processing Zone were laid off amid the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. Two years later, at least 3,000 other MEPZ workers also lost their jobs amid another round of retrenchment.