Sunday, May 17, 2009

Subic exports rise by half in 1st quarter

Firms at the Subic Freeport exported $359.45-million worth of goods in the first quarter, up 54.8% from year-ago levels, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said in a statement on Friday.

The top 10 exporters of the freeport accounted for 92% or $332.33 million of export sales in that period.

"This makes us all the more confident that hard work on the part of the SBMA and the business locators here would enable us to pull through these hard times," the statement quoted SBMA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Armand C. Arreza as saying.

Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Co.-Philippines led the pack, with sales hitting $179.36 million.

The other nine leading exporters were manufacturers mostly of computers, appliances, and other machinery. They were:

Hong Kong cell phone trader Lets Do Mobile Philippines, $57.43 million;
Taiwanese computer maker Wistron Infocomm (Phils) Corp., $36.13 million;
Japanese ATM-maker Hitachi Terminals, $16.46 million;
Japanese micro-motor manufacturer Sanyo Denki, $16.23 million;
Japanese wood products maker Juken Sangyo $8.73 million;
Danish eyewear manufacturer Lindberg Subic, Inc. ($6.38 million);
Taiwanese lock maker Tong Lung (Phils.) Metal Industry ($4.34 million);
Taiwanese aircon maker Hitachi ($4.48 million); and
Japanese electronics sensor maker Nicera ($2.79 million).
The state agency reported earlier this week that investment pledges to the freeport — mostly in shipping, trading and tourism ventures — grew 13.6% to P1.5 billion in the first quarter from the same period last year. — JADH - BusinessWorld

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Adult unemployment at record-high 34.2%:

SWS Media Release / 12 May 2009

First Quarter 2009 Social Weather Survey:

Adult unemployment at record-high 34.2%:

13% of them left old job, 12% were retrenched

Social Weather Stations

The First Quarter 2009 Social Weather Survey, fielded over February 20-23, 2009, found adult unemployment rising to record-high 34.2%, or an estimated 14 million, from 27.9% or estimated 11 million from the previous quarter.

The survey also found that of those unemployed, 13% voluntarily left their old job, while 12% were retrenched, consisting of 9% who were laid off and 3% whose previous contact was not renewed.

Unemployment has been over 20% since 2005

Adult unemployment in the SWS surveys has been 20% and above since May 2005, except for December 2007 when it was 17.5% [Chart 1, Table 1].

In the SWS data series which began in 1993, unemployment was below 15% until March 2004, and then ranged from 16.5% to 19.0% from August 2004 to March 2005.

Job history of the unemployed

Over the past four quarters, adult unemployment is dominated by those who voluntarily left their old work, and those who were retrenched – either by getting laid off or by not having their contracts renewed [Chart 2].

In the latest February 2009 survey, 13% of the unemployed left their old jobs voluntarily, 9% were laid off, 3% had their contracts finished and not renewed, and 3% said their employers closed operation. Six percent never worked before at the time of the survey.

SWS unemployment definition

The SWS data on unemployment refer to the population of adults in the labor force. This is because respondents in the standard SWS surveys are those at least 18 years old. The 1993-2008 figures are consistently based on the traditional definition of unemployment as not working and at the same time looking for work. Those not working but not looking for work are excluded from the labor force; these are housewives, retired, disabled, students, etc.

On the other hand, the official lower boundary of the labor force has always been 15 years of age. Formerly, the official definition of unemployment was not working and looking for work. However, from April 2005 onward, the new official definition has included the concept of availability for work; it subtracts those not available for work, even though looking for work, and adds those available for work but not seeking work for the following reasons: tired/believe no work is available, awaiting results of a job application, temporarily ill/disabled, bad weather, and waiting for rehire/job recall.

If the official definition is applied, the unemployment rate among adults 18 years old is 25.9% in the SWS February 2009 survey. It is lower than when computed using the traditional definition because the correction for those looking for work but ‘not truly available’ is much larger than the correction for those ‘actually available’ though not looking for work at the moment.

Survey Background

The First Quarter of 2009 Social Weather Survey was conducted over February 20 – 23, 2009 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±2.5% for national percentages, ±6% for area percentages) . The area estimates were weighted by National Statistics Office medium-population projections for 2009 to obtain the national estimates.

The quarterly Social Weather Surveys on unemployment are not commissioned, but are done on SWS's own initiative and released as a public service, with first printing rights assigned to BusinessWorld.


Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been ordered to stop collecting exit clearance fees from departing Filipino passengers who are holders of foreign passports.

The directive was given by Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Marcelino Libanan in a memorandum order that he issued last April 17 to immigration officials at the NAIA and other international airports and subports nationwide.

Libanan said he issued the order following complaints from Filipino travelers who were required to pay the said exit fees after presenting their foreign passports to immigration departure counters at the NAIA.

The said travelers are either former natural-born Filipinos who reacquired their Philippine citizenship under the dual citizenship act or foreigners who were recognized as Filipinos under the 1987 and 1935 Constitutions.

"It is not right to collect exit fees from these passengers who, even if they are holders of foreign passports, are actually Filipino entitled to all the rights and privileges of a Philippine citizen," Libanan said in explaining his directive.

The exit fee amounts to more than P1,200 for a passenger and is normally collected from departing foreign tourists and holders of immigrant and non-immigrant visas.

In his order, Libanan directed the immigration officers "not to collect exit fees from departing passengers who are holders BI-issued identification certificates even if they are using foreign passports.

An identification certificate is issued by the BI to a foreigner who was granted dual citizenship under Republic Act 9225 or whose petition for recognition as a Philippine citizen was approved by the BI and affirmed by the Department of Justice.

Under RA 9225, former natural-born Filipinos who became naturalized citizens of other countries are deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship.

On the other hand, an order of recognition as a Philippine citizen is issued to a foreigner whose father or mother is a Filipino at the time of his or her birth. (BI News)

Thursday, May 07, 2009