1, 300 PLDT WORKERS FACE LAYOFFMakati City, April 14, 2003 -- More than 1,300 employees of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) will lose their jobs as the country's largest telecoms firm begins to implement a staff reduction program this month. In a statement on Monday, PLDT said an exit package had been approved which included a salary premium and a two-year medical plan for affected workers and their families. "PLDT regrets having to make this very difficult decision but must do so in order to survive the hurdles the fixed-line business must overcome due to increasing competition," Victorico Vargas, senior vice president for human resources, said in the statement. One source close to the company said PLDT expected to let go more than 1,300 of its 12,000 workers. Employees of PLDT went on strike in December when operators were laid off due to slackening demand for operator-assisted long distance calls due to computerisation and mobile phone use. PLDT was the most actively traded stock on Monday morning. It was 22.5 pesos or 6.04 percent higher at 395 pesos, helping to pull up the main index by 1.14 percent to 1,135.12 points.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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