MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Two Japanese computer parts makers will lay off 3,750 of their factory workers in the Philippines because of weakening demand, media reports and officials said Thursday.
Fujitsu Computer Products Philippines, which manufactures hard disks, has informed the Philippine Export Zone Authority it will dismiss 1,750 workers in coming months, according to Elmer San Pascual, a spokesman for the authority, which oversees industrial parks around the country. The factory employed 5,000 as of December.
Local media quoted Philippine Labor Secretary Marianito Roque as saying TDK Fujitsu Philippines Corp. will lay off 2,000 workers from a factory that makes magnetic heads for computers. Roque did not return phone calls.
San Pascual said he could not immediately confirm the TDK Fujitsu report but said that the factory had started to cut back the number of weekly work days from seven to four in January.
Both plants are in industrial parks in Laguna province, near Manila.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the layoffs were beyond the control of the government and "unavoidable due to the global economic crisis." He said the government will help the unemployed workers through a Labor Department livelihood and employment program.
San Pascual said at least one company -- Toshiba Philippines, which also makes computer parts -- will be expanding and may hire about 400 workers.
Earlier this year, U.S. computer chip maker Intel Corp. announced it will close its factory in the Philippines and dismiss 1,800 workers this year.
Another 800 workers lost their jobs in February after FedEx Corp. moved its Asian hub from the Philippines to its new $150 million facility in Guangzhou, in southern China.
On Tuesday, the government's National Statistics Office reported that the country's jobless rate jumped to 7.7 percent in January from 6.8 percent in October in the latest sign of slowing economic growth. The Philippine economy has slowed to a growth rate of 4.6 percent last year from a three-decade high of 7.2 percent in 2007.