Megawide offers to absorb NAIA employees in takeover bid
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - October 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of Ninoy Aquino International Airport employees will not lose their jobs due to the NAIA rehabilitation project, the private consortium contracted by the government said yesterday.

The Megawide Construction Corp. said it would absorb NAIA workers if it bags the contract to rehabilitate the country’s main gateway, similar to what was done at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Megawide chairman and chief executive officer Edgar Saavedra said the claim by some lawmakers that the NAIA rehabilitation project would displace 14,000 workers was “inaccurate.”

He said Megawide would follow the process with the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) as they did with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) under the proposal to rehabilitate the NAIA complex.

“We actually made an offer to 100 percent of the employees listed by the MCIAA not only to adhere to government regulations but because we saw value in their knowledge of the airport operations,” Saavedra said.

Louie Ferrer, Megawide managing director for transport, clarified the process of turnover for regular employees of the MIAA.

“Following the guidelines of the government and the process we followed for the MCIA, we will be sending offers of employment to the regular employees of the NAIA. Those who accept the offers will enjoy benefits equal or possibly more than the benefits they were receiving from the MIAA. Any employees who transfer to Megawide are also protected against retrenchments within a certain period,” Ferrer explained.

The company said it would invest in a state-of-the-art aviation and airport training facility for the NAIA and would prioritize regular and contractual employees.

“In the short term our focus is to train the employees of the NAIA in line with our goal to deliver first-world services and operations within the first phase of operations,” Ferrer said.

He said they intend to develop Filipino aviation experts not just for Manila and Cebu, but also for other Philippine airports.

The Megawide will strictly adhere to government rules in implementing the multibillion-peso rehabilitation project, according to Saavedra.

Megawide executives issued the statement in response to the claim by Quezon City fourth district Rep. Bong Suntay during a recent budget hearing in Congress that thousands of airport workers may lose their jobs once the company takes over the NAIA operations.

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