DOLE Northern Mindanao says 30,000 to lose jobs this year

DOLE regional chief Alan Macaraya said their office has been swamped by notices from companies who want to lay off their workers.

"Our projection is about 1.7% will be unemployed this year. Translated to numerical value, that's more than 30,000 workers," he said.

Two of five companies based in Cagayan de Oro have already sent their employees notices of retrenchment. EMCOR Cagayan de Oro will lay off seven workers while Air Philippines wants to lay off 167 workers nationwide, two of them from Cagayan de Oro.

Macaraya said a total of 976 workers in nearby Iligan City will also be affected.

He said the brick manufacturing plant of Refractors Corporations has laid off 76 workers this month while Global Steel Corporation (the former National Steel Corporation) has started reducing its work hours, affecting 900 of its workers.

Northern Mindanao comprises the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte and the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Malaybalay, Valencia, Gingoog, El Salvador, Oroquieta, Ozamiz, Tangub,

In Misamis Oriental, Gov. Oscar Moreno said Swiss cement maker Holcim shut down one of its two plants in Lugait municipality.

But Moreno said Holcim officials have assured him that despite the "economic shutdown" of one of its cement plants, they have "managed to preserve the jobs of the affected workers."

Moreno said the workers were moved to the other cement plant still operational in Lugait.

"The company owners cited several reasons for the retrenchment. They said there is lower demand for the products, which is obviously true especially for cement and steel," Macaraya said.

"Some companies also considered implementing compressed workweeks, where instead of six days a week, workers will be required to follow the five-day work week,"  he said. (MindaNews)