Labor groups fear 28,000 local and foreign-based Filipino workers could lose jobs next year

Photo Credit: Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Amid the change from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to the Bangsamoro Transition Council and the impending pullout of US forces in Afghanistan this year, a labor confederation and job placement officials are concerned that 28,000 Filipinos could be jobless by 2015.

Louie Corral, executive director of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), said that 24,000 employees within the different areas of the ARMM will lose their jobs once the Bangsamoro government takes over.

He said that it is the duty of the national government to ensure the welfare of its workers. He also blasted the Aquino administration for apparently not having any contingency plan for its employees.

Photo Credit: Philippine Daily Inquirer
Photo Credit: Philippine Daily Inquirer

TUCP official Gerard Seno reiterated Corral’s sentiments, noting that the Civil Service Commission has not made any preparations so far in anticipation of the massive displacement.

He urged the CSC to make sure that rather than leaving their fates hanging, the employees should be integrated into the new government using a lateral and merit-based plan.

Concurrently, recruitment officials also fear that 4,000 OFWS working in US bases in Afghanistan could be laid off by 2015 due to an impending pullout.

It is estimated that only a thousand will be left to maintain the facilities at Bagram and Kandahar Air Base.

Some are already expected to return to the country beginning November due to their companies losing bids to supply logistics to the US bases.

However, the workers are holding out on the hope that international contractors would still need them for future projects with the US government.

Meanwhile, Malacañang played down fears that the transition and US pullout would lead to the displacement of Filipino workers.

Presidential Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said that the lasting peace the new Bangsamoro set-up would create will bring more investors and employment opportunities into the region.

He added that the Department of Labor and Employment is also continuously looking for new and alternative locations which could provide work to skilled Filipino workers.