Casiño wonders if vested interests at work in Pantranco decision
MANILA, Philippines—Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño on Friday expressed concern over Transportation Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas’ defying of a Supreme Court decision favoring former workers of the bankrupt Pantranco North Express Incorporated (PNEI), saying that a congressional inquiry into the issue could take place.
“I hope Secretary Roxas would heed the bus workers’ plea. If not, then we might have to investigate this in Congress to learn if vested interests are at work behind the scenes on this issue,” he said.
He defended former Pantranco workers whom he said deserved to have been given their separation pay 30 years ago, criticizing Roxas’ barring of the sale of 489 bus franchises to bus companies plying north and central Luzon routes.
He said that it was high time that the former Pantranco workers, now old and in need of their retirement benefits, be compensated.
Roxas earlier argued that the bus franchises, declared valid and effective by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board on April this year after it was purchased by the workers in a 2009 auction, had in fact expired when Pantranco ceased operations.
Casiño said that the government violated the Labor Code when it rewarded Pantranco properties to creditors instead of prioritizing the payment of former workers retirement benefits.
Pantranco’s franchise was its remaining asset, the party-list lawmaker said, claiming that would have served as partial separation payment to its former workers had Roxas allowed the revival and awarding of the 489 bus franchises.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.