4,000 workers lose jobs in Cebu ecozone | Inquirer News

4,000 workers lose jobs in Cebu ecozone

By: - Reporter / @nestleCDN
/ 05:02 AM July 21, 2023

4,000 workers lose jobs in Cebu ecozone.

HARD ATWORK Workers at a garment factory at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Lapu-Lapu City, shown in this 2020 photo, produce export-quality items. —PHOTO FROM MEPZ WORKERS ASSOCIATION FACEBOOK PAGE

CEBU CITY—At least 4,100 workers in two garment firms at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Lapu-Lapu City, the biggest export-oriented economic zone outside Luzon, have been laid off.

Kim Francisco, head of the city’s Public Employment Service Office, on Wednesday said the city government received reports that the downsizing of workers was necessary amid financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of Supertyphoon “Odette” (international name: Rai) in December 2021 and supply chain issues.


“At the moment, MEPZ’s businesses have dwindled. They have no other option but to retrench some of the workers [in order to survive],” he said.


All affected workers have been assured by the distressed firms that they would receive separation pay in accordance with the law, Francisco said.

The Mactan Export Processing Zone, which opened in 1979, has two zones—MEPZ 1 and MEPZ 2—both located in Lapu-Lapu City and employ at least 100,000 workers, according to city government records. Most of the business firms are Japanese-owned.

MEPZ 1 is a 120-hectare industrial zone which hosts approximately more than 100 companies. Among the products being manufactured in the zone are semiconductors, watches, fashion accessories and jewelry, among others.These products are exported mainly to Japan and the United States.

MEPZ 2, on one hand, approximately covers 63 ha with around 50 locators. Like MEPZ 1, most of the products in MEPZ 2 are electronic, automotive and garments that are being exported not only in Japan but also in the United States and other countries.

In 2020, about 4,400 workers at Mactan Export Processing Zone were laid off amid the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. Two years later, at least 3,000 other MEPZ workers also lost their jobs amid another round of retrenchment.



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TAGS: Cebu, ecozone, Employment, Jobs, workers

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