PAL to cut jobs anew
In a newly unveiled survival program dubbed Project Gamma, recently presented to employees, PAL management said the company would have to reduce its manpower by 35 percent starting October.
STAR/File
PAL to cut jobs anew
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - September 7, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Lucio Tan-owned Philippine Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, will implement another round of voluntary and involuntary manpower reduction starting next month.

In a newly unveiled survival program dubbed Project Gamma, recently presented to employees, PAL management said the company would have to reduce its manpower by 35 percent starting October.

Just like other carriers, PAL has implemented manpower reductions. Last March, it let go of 300 people, of which some 200 were retrenched while 100 opted to retire early.

The exact number of employees to be covered by the next round of manpower reduction was not immediately available, but 35 percent of a total headcount of roughly 5,000 to 6,000 employees is equivalent to 1,750 and 2,100 people, respectively.

According to Project Gamma, PAL management would communicate with all concerned employees in the first half of October and offer a voluntary separation program. It would also process voluntary separation requests.

In the second half of October, PAL will then process requirements for involuntary manpower reduction. This   involves the processing of involuntary separation packages and the provision of employee support through outplacement services.

Management said the company would provide “severance pay that we can afford.” It will also comply with all the requirements of the law and will ensure a fair process.

Aside from manpower reduction, PAL is also aggressively implementing a drastic cut in expenses.

It is negotiating with another Tan-owned company MacroAsia, the listed ground handling services, for a 15 to 20 percent cost reduction in its contracts.

It is also reviewing fuel delivery costs.

PAL, as with other airlines around the globe, has been incurring losses due to worldwide travel restrictions.

PAL Holdings Inc., the listed holding company of the carrier, posted a net loss of P11.55 billion in the second quarter, wider than its loss of P2.49 billion last year, according to recent filings.

Total comprehensive loss for the first semester ballooned to P22. 02 billion from last year’s P3 billion.

But PAL received additional deposits for future stock subscription from Buona Sorte Holdings Inc. amounting to P6.27 billion.

“As of June 30, 2020, the total deposits of P17.68 billion were presented as non-controlling interests in the consolidated equity of PAL Holdings as PAL’s application for the increase in authorized capital stock has been filed with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission),” it said.

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