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Over 4,000 Mactan ecozone workers lose jobs amid pandemic

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

More than 4,000 workers at the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) will lose their jobs effective October 4, 2020 because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the Department of Labor and Employment Central Visayas regional office (DOLE-7).

DOLE-7 regional director Salome O. Siaton said in a statement that five garment manufacturing companies have retrenched a total of 4,400 workers.

The five companies are Global Wear Manufacturing, Metro Wear, Inc., Feeder Apparel Corporation, Vertex One Apparel Philippines, Inc. and Mactan Apparels, Inc.

Siaton said all five employers opted to pay the entire one-month salary of the workers from September 4 to October 4.

A team from DOLE 7 witnessed the final payment of the displaced workers’ separation pay on September 4.

Siaton said the number of affected workers was reduced to 4,400 after her office reached out to the human resource manager of the ecozone. The five companies had planned to lay off a total of 5,600 workers.

“As a result, instead of 5,600 workers retrenched, the number was reduced to 4,400. For couples affected, it was considered that only one will be dismissed from work,” Siaton said.

She said they have reminded the five companies of their obligations especially of the requirements provided for by Labor Advisory No. 17-A regarding the online reporting that every establishment has to make using the DOLE’s online Establishment Report System.

Companies retrenching workers or those which intend to apply any kind of flexible work arrangements have to encode their establishment reports at

“Involved companies were also reminded to abide by the requirements set forth under Article 298 of the Labor Code on the reduction of personnel. It means that a written notice shall be given to the workers and to the DOLE at least one month from the intended date of the retrenchment,” Siaton said.

She said DOLE 7 has been coordinating with the Lapu-Lapu City Government on the possible interventions for the displaced workers.

Among others, the displaced workers were referred to the local government for profiling.

“Profiled workers will be referred to companies based in the city that have positions or jobs available. For workers who want to gain training experience, they will be referred to the training center of Lapu-Lapu City through the TESDA, where another coordination meeting has also been started,” Siaton said. (Ventures Cebu)

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