- 150 janitors working at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were terminated on Friday
- They said they were told they would be absorbed by the contractor that will be providing maintenance services in the airport
- They were told to report for an interview but was reportedly discriminated based on their age
More than a hundred janitors of the Manila International Airport Authority lost their jobs last Friday, July 31, after they were issued termination papers.
Inquirer said in its story published Sunday morning, July 31, that these job order or contractual personnel were “told they would be absorbed by Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. (PAGSS) following a memorandum of agreement between airline companies and the transportation department.”
But one of the laid-off staff told them that they were asked to show up for interviews.
“They asked us to introduce ourselves, where we were assigned and how long we’d been working at the terminal. There was always the emphasis on age,” the anonymous staff said in the story.
The workers would have been saved by the alleged discrimination by the bill seeking to ban employers from discriminating job applicants based on their age but the measure is still at the Malacañang awaiting for signature. The bill was ratified by Congress on June 5 and is expected to lapse into law after 30 days of no action from Malacañang.
The issue on contractualization and security of tenure was also glaring in the incident.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been vocal about his stance over contractualization; emphasizing several times that there will be no “endo” under his term. Endo is the practice of companies wherein they hire workers under a time-bound contract to avoid regularizing them and paying for their benefits.
Former labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz earlier warned that clamping down on erring companies would jeopardize millions of workers under the said agreement. Reports estimate that there are more than one million contractual employees in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, incumbent Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello issued a department order that mandates its regional offices to stop accepting new applications from contractors and sub-contractors.
“All certificates of registration of contractors/subcontractors issued prior to this Order shall be respected,” Bello said in Department Order No. 162, series of 2016. There are currently 5,000 to 6,000 contractors and subcontractors that have been previously allowed to operate before the directive.