Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Intel Philippines closes its Cavite site

Inquirer.net/Intel-announces-RP-operations-shutdown
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123249785750100437.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


Holy crap...I cannot believe it.

I have been reading so much about the recession and the economic downturn and how so many people have lost jobs and how businesses have closed up shop in countries like China and USA, but still it surprised me when I read that Intel is shutting down it operations in the Philippines...

I searched my mind trying to think of friends or acquaintances who worked for Intel but couldn't pin one down. Still, it's too close to home to not be worried.

Intel is the world's largest semicon company and has had operations in the Philippines for 20 years. Their Cavite facility handles flash memory manufacturing.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the big chip maker has not reported a net loss since 1986. But CEO Paul Otellini, in an internal Webcast to the company's employees said the first quarter was too close to call, as far as Intel remaining profitable. And then on Wednesday (Jan 21), local counterpart Intel Philippines sent an email to its 1,800 remaining employees about the close down. Intel is said to be also closing down plants in other countries due to a weakened demand brought about by the current global economic downturn.

So far we Filipinos have been relaxed about the whole recession, despite hearing an occasional story about so and so's brother or auntie coming back from Australia or Singapore because their company folded. I mean, who would have guessed, what with all the new SM malls and the endless traffic in Manila, that we could get affected by this recession? We don't see the economic downturn so we think it's only happening in the economic giants like Germany or England (or because we have no economy to begin with? aha!).

But now it's here. If a huge international company like Intel chooses to close its operations in the Philippines (even with our country having one of the cheapest labor costs in the world), and with so many other multinational companies having the same recession woes, will there be more layoffs and more closures to come?

I sure hope not.

One thing is certain, the recession has arrived on Philippine shores.

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