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Philippine workers witness no post-pandemic recovery

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2020-08-21 11:55:35 – Philippines

Over 30% of the garment workers in the Philippines could be placed on furlough until the end of the year. The pandemic has put the industry's production on hold.

According to the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines, the capacity has been reduced to just 40% in the third quarter of the year. This has been done due to the lack of customers.

Maritess Agoncillo, Executive director of the confederation stated that they are trying their best to maintain a status quo within the workforce.

Many countries around the globe have had their garment manufacturing industry rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the Philippines also suffer the same fate.

As the world recovers from the devastation and customers' interests pick back up around the world from nationwide lockdown, many nations like Vietnam and Bangladesh rebuild their workforce. The Philippines is yet to witness this recovery.

The country’s prospects are very severe that over 30 percent of the workers are put on hold until the end of 2020. They are expecting to utilize only 40% of the industry's capacity in the third quarter of the year. A huge restructuring effort looms as to only utilize a portion of the industry that can satisfy what little interest is coming in. 

Agoncillo said that as the capacity for the third quarter is projected to be down by 40 to 30 percent, they expect 20 percent to 30 percent of regular workers may have to be on furlough until the year-end.

She stated that painting operations while the demands are low were testing and many factories, have turned to make PPE serve some purpose while health care workers fight off the virus.

Many other factories have developed a rational work basis allowing the workers to return on a rolling basis before they are switched with other employees to maintain their income.

The confederation is in the midst of evaluating a report which will detail the cost of operations within the ‘new normal’. The few orders received by Philippine factories is what makes the future uncertain.  

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