Over 4,000 workers at Mactan port to lose jobs by October due to pandemic

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Cebu City (CNN Philippines, September 21) — About 4,400 workers at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Lapu-Lapu City will lose their jobs next month due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The thousands of workers from at least five companies at the MEPZ will be retrenched by Oct. 4.

The Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (DOLE-7) said retrenchment notices have been issued to the affected employees by their respective companies, which include Global Wear Manufacturing; Metro Wear, Inc.; Feeder Apparel Corporation; Vertex One Apparel Philippines, Inc.; and Mactan Apparels, Inc.

The MEPZ in Lapu-Lapu City is the biggest export-oriented economic zone in the islands of Visayas and Mindanao.

DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome Siaton said the initial number of workers to be retrenched was at 5,600, but was brought down to 4,400 following a series of consultations.

The labor official said livelihood seminars and orientations will be conducted for affected workers, in coordination with the Livelihood Center of Lapu-Lapu City.

Siaton added that DOLE-7 will hold "intervention" programs to help the displaced workers.