By Floro Mercene
The 4,000 employees of MIASCOR, threatened to be dismissed in mid-April this year, are asking President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene on their behalf.
“Is the gravity of the crime committed by the six Miascor workers caught and penalized for pilfering the luggage of an Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) commensurate to terminating a multi-billion peso company and ending the livelihood of some 4,000 personnel?” This question was asked by Ritchel Bernardo, Miascor training manager.
The 4,000 employees are the ground-handling personnel of Miascor, the largest service provider in the country. It has been in operations since 1974 and has presence in several key airports in the country, including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Clark, Cebu, Davao and Kalibo.
Last January, an irate OFW, Jovenil dela Cruz, posted on Facebook the photographs and accounts of his forcibly- opened pieces of luggage. He valued the stolen items at more than P80 thousand, including the Christmas gifts of fellow workers to their loved ones.
The FB account went viral, angering many Filipino migrant workers who expressed sympathy with dela Cruz. Miascor immediately paid dela Cruz the amount he lost but then it was too late.
President Rodrigo Duterte, stung by the OFW comments on FB, ordered his airport officials to terminate the contract of Miascor.
Bernardo said the employees believed that President Duterte has no hand in ordering the total closure of the Miascor.
Elisabeto “Bong” Upon, aircraft mechanic, was more emphatic, denouncing Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez as having a hand for their closure. He said Alvarez is a close friend of another ground-handling company.
Alvarez was an action officer at the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) before becoming senior assistant manager and chief operating officer of MIAA in March 1995 to September 1997.
Some of the employees, who requested not to be named, fearing retaliation, said they are afraid that the fate that happened to Philippine Skylander, Inc., (PSI) might happen to Miascor too.
In the late 1980s, PSI was the largest ground handling company in the Philippines, with most of the major airlines as their clients. Following the People Power Revolution of 1986, Senator Teresa Aquino Oreta put up the People’s Cargo.
(To be continued)