Airport workers to stay amid NAIA privatization – DOTr

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) — The Department of Transportation on Friday assured airport employees that their tenure stays amid the looming privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

"There is a provision that all employees will be either retained by the Manila International Airport as regulator, and the winning concessionaire," said Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista in a press briefing. "They'll be given a certain period of time for them to be able to show that they are qualified."

"The arrangement is that nobody should lose their job when we start the concession agreement with the winning bidder," he added.

The Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Paliparan ng Pilipinas, a union at NAIA, earlier expressed fears over the possible displacement of more than 1,000 workers in the privatization of operation and management of the country's main gateway.

The DOTr previously said that the privatization project could happen in the first quarter of 2024. The Manila International Airport Authority will remain as regulator while the concessionaire will serve as operator.

Meanwhile, Bautista said the winning bidder or the concessionaire could hire security screening personnel. This was after a screening officer from the Office for Transportation Security was caught allegedly stealing money from a traveler.

"The function of screening can be done by the operator. They can assume the responsibility of security and screening," said Bautista.