Gov’t braces for more OFW layoffs
MANILA, Philippines — The government is bracing for the possibility of more layoffs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the first quarter of 2009 as the impact of the global financial crisis deepens, Palace officials said Tuesday.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has instructed the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to prepare training programs for retrenched OFWs so they can apply for more in-demand jobs abroad, deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said.
The government has also readied microfinance packages for the OFWs and their families, deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said.
Over 100 retrenched Filipino workers in Tawian are expected to return to the Philippines on Tuesday.
“Our businessmen are saying that we could expect many retrenchments by the first quarter of next year,” Fajardo told a news conference at the Palace.
“That is part of the contingency plan of the government. Assistance will be provided to [OFWs’] families for micro-financing, so that they can invest. There will also be transfer of skills or change of skills,” Golez said.
A retrenched mechanic, for example, could be retrained as a welder, since the demand for welders remains high, Golez said.
In October, Arroyo announced a P250-million livelihood fund for OFWs who could be displaced by the global financial crisis.
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