SBMA: Subic workers reach 142,177 in 2021

PAMPANGA. Workers enter the Subic Bay Freeport Zone where a total of 142,177 have found employment. (Contributed photo)
PAMPANGA. Workers enter the Subic Bay Freeport Zone where a total of 142,177 have found employment. (Contributed photo)

DESPITE some business difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of workers in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone registered a continuing growth and reached a yearend total of 142,177 last year.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said Subic’s job generation effort was buoyed by new investments and expansions in the services and manufacturing sectors, which now respectively hire 72 percent and 15 percent of the current workforce in the Freeport.

Eisma said the 3,190 Subic-registered companies that now provide various services in Clark Freeport employ a total of 102,540 workers, while 93 manufacturing firms have a total of 21,529 employees.

On the other hand, the 237 construction companies operating in Subic employ a total of 12,225 workers, while 112 companies engaged in shipbuilding and marine-related services hire a total of 5,884 workers.

“It’s true that some of the companies here have closed or were forced to reduce their manpower complement because of the pandemic, but overall, the number of workers in Subic actually increased by 1.03 percent in 2020 and by 2.31 percent last year,” Eisma said.

“So, this means that Subic has been coping very well with the challenges posed by the current health crisis, and was finding new opportunities for businesses to survive and even prosper,” she added.

Eisma also pointed out that except for a .32 percent decrease in workforce count in 2009, the Subic Freeport has been riding an upward trend in job generation since 1999 when the total number of workers stood at 19,969.

“From there, our count continuously climbed to 55,875 in 2004; 88,450 in 2010; 112,653 in 2016; and finally, 142,177 in 2021,” Eisma said.

She added that even with the closure in 2019 of the Hanjin shipyard, which used to employ some 35,000 workers, Subic still registered a manpower increase of 1.37 percent that year.

“This was because job generation has been the top priority in Subic, as this was the reason for its being—to provide jobs, especially to those who lost theirs when the Subic Naval Base closed in 1992. And we’re proud that since then, Subic has been able to fulfill its mandate,” Eisma said.

According to SBMA Labor Department manager Melvin L. Varias, most of the workers employed in the Subic Freeport come from Olongapo City, which contributed a total of 62,201 or 43.75 percent, and Zambales, with 25,756 workers or 18.12 percent of the total.

Next is Bataan with 17,764 (12.49 percent); National Capital Region with 5,310 (3.73 percent); Pampanga, 4,388 (3.09 percent); Tarlac, 1,950 (1.37 percent); and other areas, 24,808 (17.45 percent).

Just last December, Varias said a total of 2,062 workers were hired by Subic firms, mostly in the services (1,519) and manufacturing (494) sectors.

Varias said that as of December 2021, the Subic workforce is comprised of 101,113 male workers, or 71.12 percent of the total, and 41,064 females, or 28.88 percent.

He added that the biggest employers in Subic today are Datian Subic Shoes Inc. with a total of 4,697 employees; Philippine Easepal Technology Ltd. Corp. with 2,766; EZ Set Tong Lung (Phils,) Metal Industry Co., 2,681; Sanyo Denki Phils. Inc., 1,375; and Exact Star Subic Bay Corp., 1,247 workers.


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