The labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines feared more than 18-million Filipino workers would lose their jobs in the next five to six years due to factories and establishments resorting to robotics, automation and artificial intelligence in selling products.
ALU-TUCP National Executive Vice President Gerard Seno expressed the apprehension after
Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba claimed around 18.2-million workers could lose their jobs over the period of the next five to six years as enterprises shifts to automation, robotics and AI to create efficient service and more products to be competitive.
“We can confirm that workers particularly in the agriculture, retail and manufacturing are now being impacted with only one employee left operating a machine in a production line that used to be manned by five to 10 workers,” Seno said.
Seno said they were concerned that affected or displaced workers might have difficulty to cope and acquire new skills needed to cope with the innovation if government will not be able to provide adequate and inexpensive up-skilling sessions for them.
Seno is also appealing to government to provide unemployment insurance schemes or programs specially to help displaced workers mitigate the impact caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The DTI said around six-million workers from the agriculture sector, 3.4 million in retail and 2.4 million in manufacturing sectors could lose jobs by 2024 with more and more transition to automation and AI.