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Texas Instruments to lay off 400 workers in Philippines

US microchip maker Texas Instruments Inc. is slashing 400 jobs in the Philippines to cope with falling orders amid the global economic crunch, the Associated Press quoted labour officials as saying Friday.

The Dallas-based company notified the Philippine Labor Department of its plan to seek 400 volunteers to take "generous" severence packages among 2,300 employees in its sprawling plant in the northern city of Baguio, said Ana Dione, a Labour Department official.

Apart from 400 workers, another 100 employees were to be transferred to Texas Instruments' other plant inside former US Clark Air Base, now a special economic zone north of Manila, she said.

"They notified us even before they discussed it with their employees," Dione said. "Because of financial difficulties, they really could not afford to sustain their entire work force, so they are reducing."

Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday. The telephone operator said all managers were on leave and could not handle queries from the media.

Dione said the company tried to cut costs when orders began falling in the third quarter, including a shortened work week.

In 1979, TI set up the assembly and testing facility in Baguio that supplies semiconductors to clients in the US, Europe and Asia.

The company has since expanded in the Philippines, including the $1 billion plant in Clark where it will employ 3,000 people. TI is among the Philippines' top exporters, reaching $3.5 billion in 2006.

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