1.4K PAL retrenched workers get P2.3-B separation pay: DOLE

By Ferdinand Patinio

March 13, 2021, 6:38 pm

MANILA – Some 1,400 retrenched workers of Philippine Airlines (PAL) have received their separation pay amounting to more than PHP2 billion.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Department of Labor and Employment - National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) said the 1,455 affected workers of the flag carrier were able to receive their separation pay worth PHP2.31 billion.

It said the workers consist of those who were affected by both voluntary and involuntary separation from the company and were employed until March 12, as part of PAL’s recovery plan due to the pandemic that has massively affected the global airline industry.

The DOLE-NCR, through its Makati-Pasay Field Office (MPFO), received last month a series of notice of termination from PAL for the affected workers.

On February 2, PAL announced a company-wide workforce reduction program affecting 2,300 employees.

However, the management decided to retain 845 workers.

The payment of separation pay took place from February 17 to 22, which was witnessed by the DOLE-NCR MPFO upon request of the company.

Rhodora Buca and Edmond Paolo Garcia, officers of the PAL’s HR Department, said the firm provided separation pay equivalent to one-month pay for every year of service, including outplacement assistance to help ease the transition.

“Philippine Airlines conducted several webinars to offer job opportunities for our affected employees. Fortunately, there are so many companies connecting with us because they knew that we will have this reduction in manpower,” Buca said.

Garcia, meanwhile, said they have employees on training with some Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies, such as Accenture and Sitel.

"They are thankful to PAL that (they) were not neglected,” he added.

Meanwhile, Napoleon Salazar, a security officer at PAL’s Security Department for almost 17 years, will rest for now and save his money for their family’s future needs.

Although he was among those who were retrenched, he remained grateful for the wonderful experiences during his stay in PAL and thankful for the separation package.

“I am speaking for myself only and I can say my overall stay in PAL has been okay. I had a chance to travel the world, either on personal or business trips. They’ve given us good benefits and they treated their employees as family,” Salazar said, adding that he was able to support the education of his children with the help of the airline company.

On the other hand, DOLE-NCR reported that it has facilitated the review and evaluation of the retrenched workers who were qualified to receive financial assistance through the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) under Bayanihan 2.

The program has a one-time PHP5,000 cash aid provided by the government to affected workers in private establishments. (PNA)