Sual power plant lays off 19 employees
SUAL– The TeaM Energy which owns and operates the 1,200-MW Sual Power Plant here has laid off 19 employees as a part of “company reorganization and because of present economic realities.”
Greggy Romualdez, the company’s external affairs head, said the reorganization was meant “to ensure maximum efficiency in support of optimizing company operations.”
“This, coupled with present global economic realities led to the decision to reconfigure the company’s present organizational structure,” he said, adding the company terminated the services of about 70 employees in its Sual and Pagbilao plants, and in the head office in Pasay City.
But there was no need to worry about lack of power as “TeaM Energy will continue to generate efficient and reliable electricity that will support the country’s development needs as it has in the past years,” he added.
Romualdez said the reorganization had been planned since the power plant was bought by TeaM Energy from Mirant Philippines Corporation some years back.
“Team Energy tried to find the ideal company size and remove the redundant positions. The reorganization was across all positions – from management to rank and file. Actually some employees also wanted to go, but their positions were still needed,” he explained.
The company offered a “generous severance package that is over and above what is required by law,” Romualdez said. The severed employees will receive 2.5 months of pay for every year of service in accordance with company policy.
Apart from this, to help employees successfully move on, seminars and trainings on wealth management and entrepreneurship are being conducted.
“We deeply value the contribution of every employee. As such, the company sees to it that all necessary assistance is provided to those who were affected on top of their generous separation packages,” he added.
One employee who requested not to be named, said she will use the money to start a small business venture. “We will just lead a simple life,” she said.
Another retrenched employee said she “prayed” about finding alternative career or even change of residency with her husband who was also laid off from the company.
Most employees, whom Romualdez said “have marketable skills because they were competently trained during their stint with the company.”
“It will be easy for them to find jobs later,” he said.
Despite the “generous severance package,” however, five employees set to be laid off rejected the offer according to Department of Labor and Employment provincial head Adonis Peralta.
“Maybe they need the job and maybe they think it will be difficult to find jobs elsewhere. I advised them to file complaints with the National Labor Relations Commission,” Peralta said.
TeaM Energy was one of the two companies in Pangasinan which retrenched employees, the other one being Digital Telecommunications Company (Digitel), Peralta said.
Since November last year up to last week, Digitel has submitted to Dole a list of employees no longer connected with the company, but Peralta said he was not sure if their removal from the company had something to do with the global financial crisis.
“I think it was for various reasons like retirement, resignation and retrenchment. We are still finding out if the retrenchment had something to do with the global financial crisis,” he said.
Digitel pays separation pay of 15 days for every year of service which is required by law, Peralta added.
He claimed that the employment situation in Pangasinan is not affected by the global financial crisis as there are no export economic zones in the province.
Companies operating in the province lays off just one or two workers, not as massive as in Calabarzon and Baguio City , he said.
But the Dole Pangasinan office is implementing the Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program (CLIP) which is meant to provide temporary jobs for construction workers displaced by the economic crisis.
The CLIP has two programs one of which is the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa mga Disadvantaged Workers or Tupad, under which the DOLE provide certain amount for wages of workers under local government projects.
In Malasiqui town for instance, the local government will construct a motor pool and the DOLE will grant P120,000 as its counterpart for the workers’ wages, Peralta said.
The other towns which requested assistance under Tupad are Binmaley for cleaning of coastal areas, Laoac for dredging canals along Poblacion area, Sta. Barbara and Urbiztondo.
The DOLE likewise gives financial assistance to fishermen organizations to help them in their livelihood projects, Peralta said. Two groups each from Dasol and Agno are given financial grants. (YOLANDA Z. SOTELO)