THE GOVERNMENT will pay for the overtime (OT) of Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) officers while it transitions to multiple shifts to provide 24/7 operations to airports.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima clarified that customs, immigration and quarantine officers will be provided just and fair compensation for any overtime work they will do.
â€œThere is absolutely no truth to the claim that we have removed overtime pay. We will continue to pay employees for the overtime work that will be done, but using government funds at government rates,â€ the finance chief said.
Before this new policy, CIQ officers would charge their overtime work to the airlines at rates higher than the governmentâ€™s pay scheme. The old practice has become a major hindrance to expansion plans of different airlines. The Board of Airline Representatives has been advocating for a change in policy for several years.
According to Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, â€œthe practice of charging overtime work to airlines, which is not transparent and prone to abuse, has become a major irritant for their operations, and is not helping our tourism campaign. We must remember that we are competing here with the other airports of the world. We must align our policies so that our airports make the Philippines a more competitive destination. CIQ operations are basic government services that government should provide at any time of the day.â€
Industry players see this move as essential to making the country more tourist-friendly, and as a step towards increasing tourism arrivals in the country. The decades-old practice of charging airlines for CIQ overtime unfairly shifts the cost of performing these government services to private airlines.
Sec. Purisima added, â€œWe hope to have in place a full 24/7 operations by the start of 2013, but while we are still increasing our manpower complement, we will pay employees for their overtime work with government funds at government rates. We cannot allow the growth of our tourism industry to be held back by a select few who have be