Thursday, 4 June 2009

What recession? Philippine electronics firms start rehiring

Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Companies in the semiconductor and electronics industries are now starting to rehire as plant production increases to meet the need to rebuild inventories in preparation for future demand.

In a briefing Wednesday, the Association of Seipi (Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc.) Personnel Administrators chairman Artemio del Rosario said 20-30 percent of the more than 462,000 employees in the sector were affected by the economic downturn.

By “affected,” he said these employees were either retrenched or had to make do with shorter workweeks.

“But there are companies now that are rehiring workers, and there are companies that are expanding. Business is picking up,” he said. “Those who were laid off are coming back, and we haven’t heard of companies still implementing shorter workweeks. Some are even operating overtime.”

Association of Seipi Purchasing Managers chairman Isagani Ong said in-country manufacturing facilities were now starting to rebuild their inventories following several months of not producing and just focusing on depleting available inventory.

“Inventory has been depleted and manufacturing facilities are producing again. We’ve already hit bottom in the first quarter. We’re now building inventory to prepare for future demand,” he said, adding that the next few months would show whether increased levels of production were just being implemented to rebuild inventories or to meet higher end-user demand.

Seipi president Ernesto Santiago said that while the group was keeping its projection of a 20-percent decline in exports this year, it was also optimistic that the industry was already on the road to recovery and that there was nowhere to go but up.

“We believe business will be back. That’s how dependent the world is on this industry,” he said. “We’ve already hit the bottom, and business is slowly picking up. The movement is slow, but at least it’s picking up.”

He said that despite the overall doom-and-gloom situation, the industry still managed to register P1.8 billion in new investments in the first five months of the year.

While 15 percent lower than what was generated in the same period last year, he said these infusions proved that the industry was “still moving.”

1 comment:

  1. Semiconductors and electronics Industries in the Philippines, Incorporated (SEIPI) has held that all economic indicators point to a better market starting in the second quarter, as the industry had already hit bottom during the first quarter, and demand has started to pick up since March of this year.