A total of 1,455 retrenched workers of the flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) received their separation pay worth P2,315,477,240.00.

The total affected workers combined both voluntary and involuntary separation from the company and will be employed until March 12, 2021 as part of PAL’s recovery plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has massively affected the global airline industry.  

On February 2021, the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) through its Makati-Pasay Field Office (MPFO) received series of notice of termination from PAL to report said affected workers. It can be recalled that PAL announced a company-wide workforce reduction program on February 2, 2021, affecting 2,300 employees. However, of the said number, PAL said it was their management’s decision to retain 845 of the affected workers.

Upon request of PAL, the DOLE-NCR MPFO witnessed the payment of separation pay for the said affected workers that took place from February 17 to 22, 2021. 

Rhodora Buca and Edmond Paolo Garcia of PAL’s HR Department said the company provided separation pay equivalent to one month pay for every year of service including outplacement assistance to help ease the transition.“Philippine Airlines conducted several webinars to offer job opportunities for our affected employees. Fortunately, there are so many companies connecting with us because they knew that we will have this reduction in manpower,” said Buca. 

“As of today, meron na kaming mga employees on training with some BPO [Business Process Outsourcing] companies like Accenture and Sitel. And they are thankful to PAL dahil hindi sila pinabayaan,” Garcia added.

Meanwhile, other affected workers like Napoleon Salazar, Security Officer III at PAL Security Department for almost 17 years (left photo) said he opted to rest for now and save his money for their family’s future needs. Although part of the retrenchment program, he remained grateful for the wonderful experiences during his stay in PAL and thankful for the separation package. 

“I am speaking for myself only and I can say na yung overall stay ko sa PAL ay okay talaga. I had a chance to travel the world either personal or business trips. Napakaganda ng benepisyo nila and they treated their employees as family,” Salazar said, adding that he was able to support the education of his children with the help of the airline company.

Meanwhile, DOLE-NCR also facilitated the review and evaluation of the retrenched workers who were qualified to receive financial assistance through the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) under Bayanihan 2.

END / Sarah May Asaytuno