Airlines back probe of customs airport overtime pay padding
The airline industry will cooperate with the Ombudsman in investigating a complaint filed by airport customs examiners against their immediate superiors for allegedly padding their overtime claims with airline companies, and pocketing, instead of distributing properly, the money collected.
Bayani Agabin, spokesperson for the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), said the complaint supports “our longstanding suspicion of overcharging and abuse of this overtime arrangement. We are thankful that the present administration has decided to do away with the backward practice of a single shift from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon plus overtime, and instead operate 24/7 on three shifts at key ports as is done worldwide.”
The airlines had paid airport customs roughly P2 billion since the early 1990s until 2005, when they decided to stop paying after airport customs wanted to double their charges.
The airlines then challenged the overtime practice in court, arguing customs employees are government employees, not theirs. There are about 200 customs employees at the airport.
The complaint before the Ombudsman was filed in August 2009 by some examiners who did not get their share. Agabin said the resolution of this case would resonate across the bureaucracy and send a strong message to erring civil servants.
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