600 Miascor workers in Cebu staring at unemployment
CEBU CITY—Around 600 employees of aviation service provider Miascor are in danger of losing their jobs after the private operator of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) decided not to push through with hiring the firm starting May this year.
They have been given until midnight of May 24, 2018 to vacate all the spaces they are occupying at the MCIA after GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) cancelled their Letter of Award with Miascor.
Miascor Ground Handling Corp. president Gemma Sadiua appealed to GMCAC to Miascor, which is currently responsible for 70 percent of the ground handling services at the MCIA, appealed to GMCAC to honor what was agreed upon as they had complied all the requirements including the purchase of P400 million worth of equipment.
But GMCAC said in a statement that what was given to Miascor was only a letter of award which was preparatory to entering a contract.
They said Miascor’s contract for ground handling, which expired on October 31, 2015, was between Miascor and the MCIA Authority which was then the manager of the airport.
In order to have a new seven-year contract for the ground handling services starting June 2018, Miascor and three other independent ground handling companies were issued letters of award last Jan. 12.
But GMCAC said they decided to cancel the letter of award for Miascor on two grounds.
One was the Feb. 15 directive sent to GMCAC by MCIAA on behalf of the Philippine government, prohibiting the awarding of ground handling contract to Miascor in line with issues of baggage pilferage incidents in the Clark International Airport and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
President Duterte earlier ordered the cancellation of ground handling contracts of Miascor in all airports in the country after an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) lost around P84,000 worth of items from his baggage and balikbayan box at the Clark Airport.
GMCAC also said Miascor failed to disclose “material information” relating to their performance – a requirement for the bidders.
“Miascor failed to disclose to GMCAC the 18 out of 26 alleged pilferage incidents in NAIA, a material information that is critical in assessing Miascor’s capacity to perform their obligations,” GMCAC said.
It added the bidding terms reserve rights for GMCAC to accept or reject proposals before the actual signing of the license agreement.
Miascor said they had sent a letter of appeal to President Duterte, asking him to reconsider his decision to cancel all of Miascor’s contracts in five airports in the country.
Aside from NAIA, Clark and Cebu, which is their second biggest operation area, Miascor is also doing ground handling services for airports in Kalibo and Davao.
Miascor Ground Handling Corp. president Gemma Sadiua said the President’s office informed them on March 7 that the issue was endorsed to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade who would evaluate their performance following the incident, and later on give a report and recommendations to the President.
“The punishment is not commensurate to the infraction done which was only petty theft. It was not even syndicated theft,” she said.
Miascor currently has around 4,000 employees in the five airports where they are operating. Of the number, 600 were in at the MCIA.
The GMCAC had also informed all airlines operating at the MCIA to start looking for other ground handling services provider in preparation for the exit of Miascor.
Sadiua said though that when their deadline arrives and they are still not granted any reprieve, they will peacefully vacate and stop operations at MCIA.
“As to the employees, it is also a question mark for us. But we will provide them with the mandatory benefits like separation pay. Definitely, we will give them what is mandated under government law,” she said./ac