Some 5,500 Filipinos working abroad have lost their jobs and returned home over the past four months, President Gloria Arroyo said on Thursday.
“Since November up to today, of our eight million Filipinos abroad, only 5,500 have had to come back because they lost their jobs,” President Arroyo told a national convention of the vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines in Cagyan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental province, in Southern Mindanao.
The Labour department, though, announced earlier this week that 39,000 Filipinos had lost their jobs since October, a number which included overseas workers.
It said the 39,000 included more than 5,400 overseas-based Filipinos who had lost their jobs in places such as the Middle East and Taiwan, which accounted for the bulk of the returning expatriates.
Arroyo also told the vice mayors that the 39,000 job losses were “mostly in the export sectors of electronics, auto parts, garments and mining.”
She insisted that “3,000 new jobs are being processed daily,” but did not give details.
The President said that local officials in Metro Manila, the country’s premier region and where most of the laid-off workers in local industries live, were meeting to “address the needs of displaced workers.”
According to her, the Philippines was more prepared than many other countries for the ongoing global financial crisis, having managed to make its economy grow in 2008 “when two-thirds of the world went into recession.”
The President said that “up to late last year, Filipinos had no difficulties finding and keeping their important jobs overseas or helping their families and contributing to our economy.”
But, “since that time, the global financial turmoil has continued to spread and it has jeopardised the well-beings of billions of people across the globe,” she added.