Thursday, 21 May 2009

Displaced Filipino workers return to Taiwan

Ben Arnold O. de Vera
Manila Standard

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) on Wednesday said many displaced Filipino workers have returned to work in Taiwan, as its electronics industry began to recall workers.

According to the office, Taipei-based Labor Attaché Rodolfo Sabulao recently reported to Labor Secretary Marianito Roque and to the office’s Resident Representative Antonio Basilio that MECO facilitated the entry of 4,406 workers from January to April 2009, compared with 1,509 workers displaced in the same period.

Sabulao said the number of Filipino workers hired during the first four months of this year has outnumbered those displaced in the fourth quarter of last year. Job orders have been rising by about 15 percent every month, while the number of displaced workers has been declining, he said.

Basilio added that jobs registered with Taiwan’s online Job Bank in early May went up to 203,000, which is the highest in six months.

Basilio explained that these developments indicate that Taiwan’s employment market was regaining momentum, and this is benefiting Filipino workers.

“Several Taiwanese manufacturers value the significant contribution of their talented and skilled Filipino workforce to their enterprises’ future growth and competitiveness,” Basilio added.

The global economic slowdown has badly hit many Taiwanese electronics exporters, resulting in some factory closures and layoffs.

During the last quarter of last year, 3,563 Filipino workers were laid off in Taiwan, compared with 3,434 workers who were hired in the same period the previous year, Sabulao said.

The office reported that this “job gains and job losses” data were based on job orders processed and verified by MECO’s labor posts in Kaohsiung, Taichung and Taipei, and employers’ records on the number of workers they retrenched, from October 2008 to April 2009.

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