Hundreds of garment workers could lose their jobs later this week when the largest textile exporter in the southern Philippines halts production following a lack of orders from overseas buyers, local media reports said today (11 May).

The Mindanao Textile Corporation (Mintex) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), says it will lay off around 300 workers on Friday.

This follows a further 1,300 redundancies the company made at the end of last year.

It reached its decision after no orders were placed for woven shirts in the months of May to August, the factory's manager told the ARMM's Department of Labor and Employment.

Mintex, whose main office is in Hong Kong, supplies garments to US apparel brands Gap, Timberland and Arrow.

Earlier orders will keep production running until June, but the company may be forced to shut down totally between July and September if no new orders materialise.