Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) yesterday announced it is making 575 employees redundant due to technological changes which have forced it to rethink its business structure. A company spokesman told journalists, ‘This is not a retrenchment. This is a redundancy programme. Technology has changed the job structure within the company. It is a painful process, but it is the only way to face up to the reality.’ The jobs affected are at its traffic operations, network, and fleet services units. PLDT employs 7,900 workers at its fixed line arm, less than half the 18,000 to 19,000 it had just twelve years ago. The operator says it has seen a marked reduction in operator-assisted ILD and DLD calls in recent years. In 2000 the figure stood at 216 million, but had dwindled to just 36.5 million in 2006. On a more positive note, the operator’s internet arm ePLDT is hiring more staff and has 12,000 people under its call centre and business process outsourcing (BPO) business, it said.