Roxas pressed on Pantranco bus franchises
MANILA, Philippines—Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño said that Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II should not delay any further the benefits owed to union workers of Pantranco North Express Inc. for the last 30 years.
Casiño said that Roxas’ order stopping the union’s sale of 489 bus franchises to Victory Liner was a “gross injustice” to the union workers because the sale would allow them to raise funds to get their separation pay that were due them 30 years ago.
He warned that if Roxas refused to hand over the franchises to the workers, Congress would summon him to an investigation to explain his order.
Casiño said that Roxas not only defied a 1993 Supreme Court decision favoring former workers of Pantranco to sell the 489 bus franchises, he further extended the suffering of union by favoring other bus lines that opposed the sale of the franchises on twisted grounds.
“Secretary Roxas should listen to the bus workers because they have long been been waiting to be compensated. They are now already old and in dire need of their benefits. It is high time that they receive the fruits of their labor,” said Casiño.
Casiño said Pantranco’s workers’ sufferings began when the company was sequestered and subsequently ran to the ground by the Presidential Commission on Good Government in 1986. Pantranco was shuttered in 1993 without complying with an order by the Department of Labor and Employment, which was upheld by the Supreme Court, granting P562 million to the Pantranco Retrenched Employees Association and P142 million to the Pantranco Employees Association. Casiño said the government had rewarded Pantranco properties to creditors instead of prioritizing payment to workers.
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