Friday, May 25, 2007

Agony & Surprises: Is this a prelude to Philippines future economic blow?

Work is so complicated this mad Friday, and I was expecting this since last night. As I woke up this morning, I spelled out a short cry for God's help. This day is a torture, it was just my 4th week on board in this new job assignment, and yet, an armful pressure from the effects of issues I had never known is piling up my load. I couldn't imagine how I am able to breathe after the day's troubles.

Thank God that He's making me live another day in this workplace. Good thing that my bonus will be coming soon. *jump* I feel that we deserve that because of our patience with their cleverness in taking advantage of our almost terminated status resulting from the sale of our business unit. They should be really thankful that while they were counting on us to complete the product transition from the company to the new one, our group is able to make it through. And now, it'll be 4 months to go before the business unit fully closed down in the phils. Hence I was now in my new job assignment while waiting for the full transition of the last cellular product I handled (ending in June).

Another iron strike just hit last Wednesday when the management announced that the Flash business will be sold. I feel sad for my friends who belongs to that group. They'll be waiting for 4-6 months before the deal will be closed, and by that time, they'll know if they still have a job or not.


With the happenings around our company, I feel that this just reflects how the Philippine economic environment had become less profitable as before for foreign manufacturing firms. With the high power costs but intermittent supply, increasing labor cost, political instability, graft and corruption, bureaucracy, and all the other ugly things you could think this land have, firms are starting to divert their businesses to more promising Asian countries.

Taking China as an example, our firm had just pledged to invest around $4 billion dollar by 2010 to build a chipset factory. In Vietnam, a 5000 sq. meter plant is in-progress, and this will pave way for the industrialization of this once war-zone country.

With the sale of our business unit last year, followed by the recent confirmation of long-time rumored sale of the other business unit, the remaining chipsets and microprocessor factory could not be far from ending its life in the Philippines.

If I was in the investor's shoes, I might do the same. Its the businessman's mindset to look for ways to cut operating costs and maximize profitability. Once they start to build the planned chipset factory in China, it will be more or less, the start of the slow down of the company's operations in the Philippines. Should this happen, it will make approx. 5000 people in the neighborhood jobless. :(

We might say that we Filipinos have a language proficiency advantage, but we should be well aware that our Asian counterparts are investing a lot to train their people in this aspect. Though not very fluent, they could express their thoughts well and this once strong barrier to international trade and capitalization is slowly breaking down.

What could possibly be done by our government to prevent this under this circumstances? Our firm, as far as I know, was recently stated to be the Philippines top export contributor in terms of dollar value. As for myself, I don't see myself staying with the company beyond next year. I almost stay out if I was not offered with this new assignment.

Let's just all pray for the best. :)

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