Palace: We will help displaced Ford workers
The government has formed a quick response team to assist the employees

MANILA, Philippines – Some 250 workers who will be displaced by the closure of American automaker Ford’s production plant in the Philippines will be taken care of.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda gave this assurance during a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday, June 28. He said the government has formed a quick response team to plan how they can help the affected workers.

“This quick response team is comprised of DOLE, TESDA and DTI. They have been in touch with the Human Resources Division of Ford Philippines.”

Lacierda said “we will be looking for employment” for Ford employees who wish to remain in the auto industry. Those who want to work in another industry and will require “re-training” will be assisted by TESDA, while those who want to use their “hefty separation benefits” to go into business may go to the DTI for advice, he said.

Lacierda also said that Ford has not yet notified the Labor Department about the planned closure of its assembly plant in Sta Rosa, Laguna.

But “we already are making plans ahead of time, ahead of the notice of closure to ensure that we can assist the displaced employees,” he noted.

On Wednesday, June 27, Ford announced it will shut down its plant in 2013 and just import completely built units.

The decision is “due to lack of economies and small supply base.”

This is the second time that Ford will pull out from the country. It did so in 1976 when the devaluation of the peso jacked up the prices of imported auto parts, raising its costs.

It returned to the Philippines in 1999 and started assembling several models sold locally and for export to affiliates in the region. 

Currently, Ford’s Laguna plant only assembles Ford Escape units. The company said it will roll out the last of the Escape by the end of 2012 and cease operations next year. –