DSWD aids retrenched factory workers in Lapu-Lapu City

CEBU CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Central Visayas (DSWD 7) has started providing assistance to thousands of workers retrenched by several clothing factories at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Lapu-Lapu City.

DSWD 7 Director Shalaine Marie Lucero said the retrenched workers received cash aid and food packs through their Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS).

The DSWD 7 has set aside P21 million to help them.

The cash distribution was held on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City. Each displaced worker received cash ranging from P2,000 to P5,000 depending on their tenure.

The cash assistance is one of the immediate interventions that the DSWD 7 and the City Government of Lapu-Lapu are providing to affected workers.

Lucero said the DSWD 7 is profiling the workers for other interventions such as job placement in other companies and possible assistance from other government agencies.

Some 4,000 workers had their last day of work last Sept. 26.

MEPZ management identified the companies that retrenched workers as Mactan Apparels Inc., Metro Wear Inc., Globalwear Manufacturing Inc., Feeder Apparel Corp., and Vertex One Apparel Philippines Inc.

In a statement, the garment factories said there was a need to downsize their workforce due to sudden reduction of orders from foreign clients and their increasing operational costs.

"As the world is now in the brink of global recession with higher-than-expected inflation and the global financial conditions are becoming tighter, our business and that of our customers are not an exemption especially being classified as non-essential and luxury product," they said.

"Likewise, the unprecedented situations that our companies have been dealing with since Covid-19 pandemic, typhoon ‘Odette,’ supply chain issues, increasing gas prices, and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has shaken not only our financial health but as well as having unstable operations.”