29 December 2009

Maritime, electronics firms are Subic’s top employers

Companies engaged in shipbuilding and maritime-related services are now the biggest employers in this free port, even as service-oriented companies still employ the bulk of close to 87,000 workers hired by various business locators here.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand Arreza said that seven of Subic’s top 10 biggest employers are in the maritime business, while the three others that complete the list are from the electronics manufacturing business.

“This has been the case since Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Corp. located in Subic in 2006,” Arreza noted. “While the services sector still hired most of Subic’s workers, those in the shipbuilding and manufacturing industries usually landed in the top 10 biggest individual employers.”

“These two industries are really catching up fast in terms of hiring, but the bulk of total Subic’s workforce still depended on companies that provide services,” Arreza added.

According to SBMA data, the biggest employer in Subic as of October 2009 is Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Corp., which has a total of 3,118 employees. Hanjin operates a $1.7-billion shipyard at Subic’s Redondo Peninsula and builds some of the biggest vessels in the world today.

Following Hanjin in the second and third slots are two Japanese manufacturers — computer parts-maker Nidec Subic Phils. Corp., which employs 2,361 workers; and electronics motor-producer Sanyo Denki, which has hired a total of 2,218.

The fourth and fifth biggest employers are Korean companies that provide support services to Hanjin. These are Subic Shipbuilder Corp., with a total of 1,862 employees; and Greenbeach Powertech, Inc., with a total of 1,693 workers.

In sixth place is Taiwanese computer-maker Wistron Infocomm Phils., which has a total of 1,699 employees. Wistron used to be Subic’s biggest employer prior to the establishment here of Hanjin in 2006.

The rest of the companies in the top 10 employers list are all Hanjin subcontractors: Subickor Corp., which has a total of 1,662 workers; Metrobay Corporation, with 1,514; Redondo Baytech Corp., with 1,426; and Kalayaan I-Tech Corp., which has a total of 1,361 employees.

With a total manpower complement of 15,796, the top 10 employers, however, delivered only 18.51 percent of Subic’s current employment record of 86,631.

SBMA data as of October this year also indicated that the number of workers in the services sector stood at 38,676, or 44.64 percent of the total workforce in the free port, while those in the shipbuilding and maritime sector totaled 25,301, or 29.21 percent.

The rest come from the manufacturing sector, which had 15,614 workers, or 18.02 percent; construction sector, with 6,494 or 7.5 percent; and the domestic sector which employed a total of 546 helpers and caretakers, or 1 percent.

Arreza also said that the services sector is expected to keep the lead in employment generation in the coming years because Subic “is basically service-oriented.”

Subic’s thrust to become a major service and logistics hub is also expected to create more service-oriented jobs, he added.

Among the 86,631 workers in the Subic Bay Freeport today, fully 40 percent come from Olongapo City, which has traditionally contributed the most number of workers since 1992. Olongapo’s workers in the free port now number 34,807.

Next to Olongapo, the province of Zambales provided the biggest number at 19,194, or 22.16 percent; Bataan, with a total of 10,994 or 12.69 percent.

The rest are from the National Capital Region, which has a total of 4,556 migrant workers in Subic, or 5.26 percent of the total; Pampanga, with 2,897 or 3.34 percent; and Tarlac, with 1,801 or 2.08 percent. (SBMA Corporate Communications)