FFW: Marcos must rethink ‘rightsizing’ of Duty Free


The issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the “rightsizing” of Duty Free Philippines Corp. (DFPC) without consultation from its labor union has sparked concerns that it will result in “mass labor displacement.”

The Federation of the Free Workers (FFW) renewed its appeal to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to halt the enforcement of the “haphazard-prepared” reorganization plan, which is expected to lead to the retrenchment of over 700 DFPC workers.

“The President has the authority to stop this ill-prepared plan as he has the power to do so under Section 5 [a] [6] [i] of Republic Act 10149, also known as the GOCC [Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation] Governance Act of 2011,” FFW said in a statement issued last Sunday.

The group urged the President to postpone DFPC’s rightsizing plan “indefinitely” until its issues can be ironed out.

FFW made the pronouncement after the DFPC management released the IRR for the rightsizing plan last Thursday.

This despite the opposition and pending appeal of the United Workers of Duty-Free Philippines (UWDFP-FFW)—the certified bargaining negotiation agent of the rank-and-file employees of the said establishment—on the said righsizing plan.

“We were informed that the management of Duty-Free Philippines has already adopted an implementing rules for the reorganization without the union or employees participation and without waiting for the resolution of our motion for reconsideration before the Governance Commission for GOCC—this is preposterous,” said UWDFP-FFW President Ernesto Mangalindan.

‘Unfair provisions’

Under the IRR, FFW said the affected DFPC workers will lose their security of tenure and will be required by their management to reapply for the approved plantilla positions, which are less than half of the existing jobs.

It also has a provision which barred the retrenched workers from immediately seeking reemployment in other government offices.

“The IRR violates the equal protection clause of the constitution. It has a provision which is discriminatory as it penalizes employees who have been impacted by the massive termination by preventing them from being re-employed in the public service for five years,” Mangalindan said.

The workers, who will be affected, were previously employed by a private manpower agency contracted by DFPC until the Supreme Court ordered for their regularization since they were victims of illegal labor-only

The reorganization plan was supposed to have taken effect last year but it was postponed upon the intervention of Tourism Secretary Christina G. Frasco. DFPC is a GOCC attached to the Department of Tourism.