Consequently, the standards of living of the Filipino people increased as foreign investors came to the country and focused on Subic and Clark as Economic Zones. In the global supply chain, Filipinos provide cheap labor to Multinational Companies (MNCs) that have invested in the Freeport Economic Zones mentioned.
The Philippines still has one of the highest unemployment rate in Asia (6.8%) as of December 2008 ( Dept. of Labor and Employment ). However, the current recession is felt by the Filipinos since the large markets for Philippine export goods like Japan and the United states were affected. This resulted to massive lay-offs in the electronics industry. Intel shut down its
operation and retrenched 1,800 workers due to the slowdown in demand (philstar.com). As a result, the unemployment rate of the Philippines ballooned as the Philippine Labor Department reported that 40,000 workers were retrenched, 33,000 workers are experiencing shorter working hours while over 5,400 overseas Filipino workers were displaced because of the crisis. This case shows that the Philippines depend heavily on exports and overseas Filipino labor for its earnings. In fact, it is the remittance of Overseas Filipino Workers ( $16.4 billion dollars in 2008) that cushioned the economy from the impact of the world crisis, leading to an increase in GDP despite the bleak environment.
solutions for this situation. Currently, the Philippine government’s policy that seeks to address this issue is Labor Export. This policy is not actually new since this country has been sending overseas workers in the Middle East during the 70s. However, it was only in 2001 that the government openly campaigned for sending Filipinos abroad. In the midst of this crisis, the government is searching for new markets that Filipino labor can penetrate such as