Clark airport workers won’t lose jobs, says BCDA chief

Philippine Daily Inquirer

CLARK FREEPORT — The president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has allayed fears of layoffs by 315 regular employees of its subsidiary, Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC), when operations and maintenance of Clark International Airport (CRK) are awarded to a private company in August.

“We are protecting our employees,” Vivencio Dizon, who is also BCDA chief executive officer, said in a phone interview.

Members of Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (CRK’s former name) picketed the CIAC premises on May 25 to demand transparency regarding their employment status in a private concessionaire that will run the existing terminal and a new terminal that can accommodate 12 million passengers.

The new terminal, worth P15 billion, is one of the first four projects of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

Dizon and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade were absent at the May 25 CIAC board meeting. Dizon sent Joshua Bingcang, BCDA senior vice president for business development, to present plans for CRK operations and maintenance.

The absence of the top officials and few details on their employment alarmed regular employees, according to union president Manny Bañez.

Dizon said terms of the operation and maintenance contract were still being finalized by the BCDA’s privatization adviser, International Finance Corp. (IFC).

Citing a memorandum prepared by IFC, Dizon said employees who were directly involved in operations would be absorbed by the concessionaire.

In a text message, Dizon said the BCDA was “committed to protecting the interests of the employees in the CRK.”

The privatization, he said, would “ensure that Clark will truly be a world-class international gateway [for which] all our people will be proud.”

He said CIAC would continue to oversee leases in the Clark aviation complex. —TONETTE OREJAS


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