THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has reiterated its call to managements of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific (Cebu Pac) to release long-delayed overtime pay of bureau personnel at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, citing a 2012 Supreme Court (SC) ruling favoring the workers’ claims.
Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, in a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, said he has written Jaime Bautista of PAL and Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pac to remind them of their financial obligation under the High Court’s 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 January 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, 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,” he added in his October 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 claimants,” Faeldon said in his letter.
He informed the BAR that his letter is, in effect, a follow-up to earlier efforts of former BOC commissioners Rufino Biazon and Alberto Lina to assert the rightful claims of the Customs workers against PAL and Cebu Pac.
Faeldon recalled that Biazon issued the necessary directives and letter-appeals for implementation of the SC ruling, while Lina issued a written authority to the Customs collector of the sub-port 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.
Under CAO 7-92, the BOC officers and employees at the airport were to receive P28 to P30 overtime pay per hour, with allowances of P50 for traveling per way and P50 per meal.
The new order (CAO 1-2005) increased the overtime pay to P66 and P83, and also included P110 flat rate for traveling and P110 meal allowance.