Around 14,000 employees of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) may soon find themselves out of work in a few years’ time due to redundancy issues once the planned rehabilitation is approved.
Sources said if the proposed P102-billion deal with the consortium – composed of Megawide Construction Corporation and India’s GMR Infrastructure Ltd. – pushes through under the Duterte administration’s “Build Build Build” program, the services of the workers could be terminated as the whole airport will be temporarily shuttered to give way for the construction work.
The same sources said that those to be retrenched would be given separation pay commensurate to their length of service, in accordance with existing labor laws.
They added that some of these workers may be “rehired” by Megawide. But the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which has supervision over the NAIA, warned that Megawide isn’t obliged to rehire workers as there is no such stipulation in the contract.
NAIA management said however it is still premature for affected employees to worry as no contract has yet been awarded. “No reason to be alarmed. Malayo pa ‘yan.”
There are reportedly 2,000 regular employees and more than 10,000 contractual or job order workers in the NAIA.
Expected to handle the slack during the NAIA’s temporary closure is San Miguel Corporation’s P755-billion “New Manila International Airport” project in Bulacan which is tentatively scheduled for completion in 2025.
The plan to rehabilitate the NAIA, which was built in 1980, is being pushed by the DOTr to address the worsening passenger and flight congestion brought about by its obsolete facilities, and to shore up its global bankability by bringing it up to par with existing international airports.
(In a statement, Megawide assured it would absorb NAIA workers should it get the P102B rehab contract, and none would lose their jobs.)