Sta. Rosa to suffer from Ford shutdown, says mayor

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STA. ROSA, Laguna—To some Ford employees, nothing is certain but the fact that they will soon be needing a new job.

“I only learned about it when I saw [the news report] on TV. It hasn’t really been discussed to us yet,” said a male employee at the assembly plant of Ford Philippines here. “That’s really how it works. We will just have to find a new job,” he said.

Ford Motor Co. recently announced that it is shutting down its car assembly plant in the Philippines, mainly due to gaps in the supply materials.

According to a briefing on Wednesday, Ford Motor Asean president Peter Fleet said the company’s closure by yearend would displace around 250 workers.

Another employee, 28, who has been with the company for three years now on a contractual basis, said he only learned from a coworker that the company is closing down.

Both employees interviewed requested anonymity for fear that talking to reporters might affect their company records.

“They say they are going to give us separation pay anyway. I just hope to find a new job soon,” said the employee who worries how he would support his wife and two children when he loses his job.

‘Substantial amount’

“We are saddened that they are pulling out. Ford has already been part of the Sta. Rosa family,” said Mayor Arlene Arcillas, in a phone interview, after the company’s announcement of its planned shutdown on Wednesday.

Sta. Rosa, host to at least four major car companies to earn for itself the title “Motor City of the Philippines,” is heavily dependent on the companies’ business taxes.

Aside from Ford, the other automotive companies located here are Toyota, Honda and Nissan Motors, which have a combined manpower pool of around 2,991 people and a combined output that accounts for 90 percent of the total car manufacturing output of the Philippines.

“The city will be greatly affected in terms of the business tax. We are losing big,” Arcillas said. The mayor, however, declined to divulge the exact amount but said it is a “substantial amount.” She said Ford is the second biggest business taxpayer of Sta. Rosa, next to Toyota.

Feedback

Ignacio Sanqui, chief of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Laguna, said they were aware of the planned shutdown although they have yet to receive the company’s official report.

“Prior to the [news] release, we have been hearing feedback [of a possible shutdown] from company [representatives], perhaps as a courtesy to us,” Sanqui said.

He said that under the law, a company is required to submit a formal report to the labor department at least 30 days prior to its closure.

Marivic Martinez, supervising employment officer of DOLE-Laguna, said that since last month, Ford Philippines has been offering its workers early separation,  an indication of a possible shutdown.

“They were doing something to assist workers,” she said.

Sanqui said they were informed of the company’s plans to  redeploy some of its workers to its marketing department or assembly plants in India, Thailand or China.

He said DOLE was preparing an “intervention program” that includes jobs, livelihood training and financial assistance, specifically for Ford employees who would be affected by the company closure.

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  • wawa2172

    Ford will never be able to compete in the country and in Asia. It’s engine size consume so much gasoline than the others. Speed and luxury is out of question but its price and gas efficiency is something that turns off the buyer. Unlike Japanese and Korean made cars the American Ford cannot compete in terms of cheap part replacement and accessories. Its an expensive that average Filipinos cannot afford. Kawawa lang talaga ang Filipino workers na mawawalan nang work. Other Ford companies all over the world and even in the US is not doing well. In global situation at present, the choice is gas fuel efficiency than durability and luxury. Japanese made cars especially the small one runs at 34 km per liter so papaano kakalabanin yan. Kiko Pangilinan, blame the government for the Ford closure, whose goverment? Its Pnoy? Hindi ba magka K kayo? The Filipino farmers wont be able to afford to buy a Ford truck even if its take income increases by double. I guess the hacienda owners like Noy can afford it but not the farmers. So kalabaw at Isuzu engine na Francisco Motors pa rin ang kaya rentahan nang mga mag sasaka para sa produkto nila. Kiko you are dreaming that our farmers will make good income from farming. The farmers are often shortchange by the owners. Pwedi habal-habal ang kayang bilhin nang mga magsasaka at pwedi isakay ang ani nila sa Skylab (or a motorcycle, fitted with metal set extensions on both side of a single motorbike to cary up to 6 people and farm products including baboy and chicken. Yun lang ang kaya nang farmers natin Kiko, Ford will never be in the mind of the farmers. Unless the farmer has a name Kiko Pangilinan na asawa ni Megastar.

  • http://twitter.com/wadjitzain coty

    “FORD” that time it earned the reputation as “fix or repair daily” but then Henry Ford started it all the mass production, and the assembly line! asked why they are all in black, he replied the famous line; “you can have all the colour you want as long as it is black”! hey, have you noticed today there are a lot of preference for a black coloured car! then the Japanese cars came and they thought it was a “joke” but gave them a lot of headache when American consumers started to buy them! at the present Ford has a problem with their latest model specially the one that has the original “myTouch” feature it is a great car buyer turn-off! they have to upgrade it quickly! however their “ecoboost” engine is something to reckon with as it has eclipsed the fuel consumption of the “Toyota Prius” which cost a fortune even in the States! much more here, the deal is you get one car for the price of two! instead of a tax rebate we get penalised for driving “green” cars but that’s another story! too bad, Ford has to go, but then again in Thailand they are one of the tops! hmmm the Thais must be doin’ something good and right to keep their market share, we even send representatives to Thailand every time a new car model is about to be introduced!

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