Pandemic-hit garments firms to lay-off over 4,000 workers
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Over 4,400 workers are being let go by garments firms operating in Cebu due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Sports City International Philippines said its companies – Mactan Apparels Inc., Metro Wear Inc., Globalwear Manufacturing Inc., Feeder Apparel Corp. and Vertex One Apparel

Phils. Inc. – operating at the Mactan Export Processing Zone are implementing a retrenchment program which would affect 4,420 workers.

The retrenchment program is being undertaken as COVID-19 has affected the firms’ business, as well as that of their customers worldwide, considering their products are classified as non-essential and luxury items.

“We have come to a point to make an extremely difficult and inevitable decision to implement a retrenchment program in order to keep our companies operational and afloat so it can survive and exist and continue to provide employment to Cebuanos in the future,” Sports City said in a statement.

Sports City said the move is the only way it could ensure the continued employment of at least 76 percent of its workforce.

The companies have notified the Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine Economic Zone Authority of the retrenchment program.

As for the workers, Sports City said they were informed as early as last month of the retrenchment program during a business update orientation on the current situation and the options considered by the companies.

All affected workers were given separation pay in accordance with the law. They also received one month salary in lieu of the 30 days notice.

Despite the implementation of the retrenchment program, Sports City said it remains committed to making the operations in Cebu competitive.

“It is with heavy heart that we have to go to such a process of separating our employees forced upon us by circumstances beyond our control. We are praying not only for their safety and good health, but also that of the rest of our workers as this pandemic continues to storm the country and the whole world. We just hope that the pandemic will end soon so that we could all go back to our normal lives,” Sports City said.

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