The new leadership at the Bureau of Customs has continued the persistent efforts made by its predecessors in calling the attention of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific (Cebu Pac) over their failure to give the long-delayed overtime pay of BOC personnel at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport despite a 2012 Supreme Court ruling favoring the workers’ claims.
In a report to Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said that on behalf of the customs personnel at the Cebu-Mactan airport, he has written Jaime Bautista and Lance Gokongwei, the presidents of PAL and Cebu Pac, respectively, to remind them of their financial obligations under the Supreme Court ruling.
The SC ruling refers to the case of Office of the President vs. Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), which ordered the BOC to immediately implement Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 1-2005, prescribing an increase in overtime pay of customs personnel rendering service to international airline companies at the country’s airports.
The CAO took effect in 2005 while the SC decision became final and executory on Jan. 11, 2012.
The CAO required airlines that are BAR members to increase the overtime pay of customs personnel at the airports.
Faeldon said he has also written the BAR chairman, Jose Perez de Tagle, to likewise call his attention to the need for the “speedy and full settlement” of the obligations of PAL and Cebu Pac to the Mactan-Cebu customs personnel, some of them already retired from the service.
“It is unfortunate that up to now, the customs personnel of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), have yet to receive their overtime pay from two (2) major airlines, namely PAL and Cebu Pacific, which had the biggest number of international flights served during the period from the year 2005 to 2010,” Faeldon said in his Oct. 19 letter to the BAR.
‘The delay in the execution of the judgment in favor of the BOC personnel within the five-year period from the date of its entry on 11 January 2012 or until 11 January 2017 (or about three months from now) may amount to denial of justice and further inconvenience on the part of the claimant,” Faeldon likewise said in his letter.
Faeldon informed the BAR that his letter is, in effect, a follow up to the earlier efforts of his predecessors, Commissioners Rufino Biazon and Alberto Lina, to assert the rightful claims of the customs workers over PAL and Cebu Pac.
He recalled that Biazon issued the necessary directives and letter-appeals for the implementation of the SC ruling, while Lina issued a written authority to the Customs Collector of the Subport of Mactan to negotiate and enter into an amicable settlement with the airline members of BAR to aid in the long-overdue implementation of the SC decision.
Faeldon said he, following Lina’s earlier efforts, also issued the same written authority to the Subport of Mactan.
In separate letters to Gokongwei and Bautista, the Customs chief told them: “We believe that it is fair, just and right to settle already already with finality all the pending claims of the customs personnel which has become long overdue, thus, this appeal.”
“We hope for the speedy and full settlement of your obligations to our customs personnel, some of them already retired from the service,” Faeldon likewise said in his letters.
The letter sent to PAL was dated Oct. 19 while the one to Cebu Pac was dated Oct. 14.
An earlier customs order, CAO 7-92, said that BOC officers and employees at the airport were to receive P30 to P28 hourly overtime pay, P50 traveling allowance per way and P50 allowance per meal.
CAO 1-2005 increased the hourly overtime pay of airport customs personnel from the previous rates prescribed in CAO 7-92 to a range of P66 to P83, and also included a P110 flat rate for traveling allowance and P110 allowance per meal.