THE Lapu-Lapu City Government will request the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) to provide assistance to around 4,000 workers who were reportedly retrenched from companies in Lapu-Lapu City.

The City Council approved in mass motion during its fifth special session Friday, September 30, 2022, Resolution 16-0496-2022 authored by Councilor Annabeth Cuizon requesting Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo, through Central Visayas Director Shalaine Marie Lucero, for assistance to be given to the workers whom Cuizon claimed are in a crisis situation.

Kim Francisco, head of the city’s Public Employment Service Office (Peso), earlier said over 4,000 workers were reportedly retrenched from companies operating at the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) 1 and Cebu Light Industrial Park (Clip).

Francisco said the management coordinated with the Mayor’s Office, Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO), and Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (DOLE 7), to mitigate the adverse impact of their retrenchment program.

“In the midst of economic difficulties, it is very difficult to lose employment and it is urgent for the local government to step in and provide assistance to our residents who are included in the retrenchment,” said Cuizon in her resolution.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and Peso are requested to conduct a profiling of the retrenched workers from five locators of MEZ and ensure that the Lapu-Lapu City residents who are affected are provided with assistance in their livelihood and job placement.

According to the official statement of MEZ, five of their locators that manufacture clothes reportedly saw the need to downsize their manpower through a retrenchment program.

“As the world is now on the brink of global recession, with higher than expected inflation and the global financial conditions are becoming tighter, our business and that of our customers are not an exemption especially being classified as a non-essential luxury product,” read their statement.

Francisco noted this as the biggest retrenchment since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic started more than two years ago, saying there were about 3,000 workers retrenched last year.

Vice Mayor Celedonio Sitoy, who serves as acting mayor until Wednesday, October 5, already signed and approved the resolution.

Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan is on a business trip, along with Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Representative Ma. Cynthia Chan, Councilors Eugene Espedido, Emilio Galaroza, lawyer Susan Baring, and Jan Vincent Dela Serna, to witness the performance of Lapu-Lapu City Performing Arts (LLCPA) in this year’s Wonju Dynamic Carnival in South Korea on October 1 to 3.

In his social media post, Chan said he already directed the Peso to give priority to the retrenched workers should there be job openings from different companies.

“Daw gikumot ang akong kasingkasing sa akong pagkahibalo niini kay sayud ako nga aduna silay mga pamilya nga nagsalig intawon sa ilang sweldo. Mura kog nahugno sa nahitabo kanila,” said Chan.

(I was heartened when I learned this because I knew that they have families who depend on their wages. I was devastated by what happened to them).

The mayor also asked the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to provide the Oponganons with more livelihood training.

Francisco said displaced workers started to flock to their office Thursday, September 29, to seek help or advice. (MKG)