Massive Job Loss for Filipinos in 2020

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Nokia Technology Center Philippines has confirmed last January that in the 3rd quarter of 2020, it will close its Quezon City branch. Located at UP Technohub, it is the first Nokia Tech Center in Southeast Asia established in 2010 as part of Nokea’s premium research and development (R&D) division where it is currently employing around 700 engineers, IT professionals, and administrative staff who are involved in the software design for 4G and the coming 5G network.

It was reported that this is also similar to the situation in Finland where the action to minimize operating cost has resulted to the laying off of hundreds of employees. Nokia, as one of the biggest suppliers of network equipment, is facing a tough competition against Huawei, a giant Chinese tech company that is now a choice of both Globe and PLDT especially for the coming 5G network projects here in the country. Many employees, including managers, have been surprised and saddened by this news of closure.

According to Nokia spokesperson, the closing of Manila hub was due to its plan to consolidate its R&D offices to fewer locations as part of sustaining the business. In addition, the Nokia also said that the company is undergoing “tough market conditions” while having troubles with its growing operational expenses.

Meanwhile, Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) in Santa Rosa, Laguna, which started its production in 1992, also announced its closure this coming March 2020. According to Honda’s official statement, the plan to cease its automobile production in its Santa Rosa facility is part of its optimization efforts in the production operations in Asia and Oceania region “to meet Honda’s customer needs in the Philippines for reasonably priced and good quality products”. As a consequence, this will affect 387 employees and associates. However, these employees will be compensated, Honda’s spokesperson assured.

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Assuring the continuation of some operations, HCPI spokesperson stated, “Honda will continue its automobile sales and after-sales service operation in the Philippines, through the utilization of Honda’s Asia and Oceania regional network. Honda will continue providing highly attractive products to its customers in the Philippines and continue contributing to the local society, which has been an ongoing effort for the last 50 years since Honda was established in the Philippines.”

On the other hand, 700 tech workers currently outsourced in the country by US-based bank Wells Fargo & Co. will also be laid off by the end of 2020. This coming downsizing operation in the Philippines by the said company will leave these employees worrying as many Filipinos are also now currently struggling in a massive employment loss. Wells Fargo & Co. is currently employing 12,000 workers in India. According to the company’s spokesperson, some of its jobs would be transferred to India as part of a “global workspace strategy”. India is the country’s biggest competitor when it comes to information technology and BPO industry.  


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Alter Picar

Alter Picar is a writer, translator, self-published author, songwriter / musician, community worker, non-profit organization manager (volunteer), mental health advocate / educator, librarian, and organic gardener.