Fewer local jobs, rising numbers of OFW’s & fishermen plucked from stormy sea

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35,000

As a consequence of the fall of the electronic industry, this is the number workers who lost their job in the major economic zone in Laguna according to reports that reached the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP.) The huge lay-offs put the pressure on workers to leave the country and seek employment abroad. It is consistent with the National Statistics Office (NSO) data showing that Philippine exports fell 11.9 percent to $3.49 billion in November, the second straight month of double-digit loss following a downward slide by 14.8 percent in October.

It is said the country lost $1.18 billion in exports, mostly from electronics ($960 million) in October to November 2008.

In a related development, the closing of Intel’s Philippine testing and assembly plant in Cavite this year will displace an additional 1,800 workers (cut down from 3,000 in November 2008) after 20 years of operation.

1,376,823

According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the number of overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s) employed abroad totaled to 1,376,823 last year. The number exceeded the 2007 number by about 300,000. Employment abroad has steadily increased from from 867,969 in 2003, 933,588 in 2004, 1,077,623 in 2007 and 1,376,823 in 2008. This indicates the continuing dependence of RP for jobs abroad to provide employment to its citizens.

21

The number of fishermen rescued in the stormy seas of Sabina Shoal in Kalayaan Group of Islands in January 16, 2009. All crew members of M/B Lester, they were safely brought to Puerto Princesa, Palawan after being marooned in turbulent waters for 10 hours.

P330 billion

With the goal of creating 3 million jobs and build infrastructures this year, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo signed an additional 10% in the stimulus package bringing the budget to P330,000. The 3 million jobs represent a fourth of the 12 million presently unemployed in the country. It is doubtful if this amount is enough to offset the impact of the economic downturn. A 2009 national budget of P1.415 trillion was ratified by the congress.

34

This is number of evacuees from Gaza who arrived in Manila on January 21, 2009. Another 20 is about to arrive after they crossed the Gaza-Israel border on their way to Amman, Jordan. Earlier 16 Filipinos returned to escape the bloody strife between the Israelis and Palestinians which killed more than 1,000 people in three weeks. (Photo Credit: Ian Riley; Diong)=0=

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