OFWs to BOC: Fix employees’ OT problem

A MIGRANT workers’ group has urged the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to immediately resolve the problem of its employees on their overtime (OT) claim, saying this could also affect overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

“The BOC employees’… protest… obviously caused inconvenience to departing and arriving OFWs. It will be harmful if it continues,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

A number of BOC employees at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 and 2 in Pasay City walked out of work at 5 p.m. last Monday, leaving passengers unattended, according to news reports.

Last month, the BOC proposed to charge all departing passengers, mostly OFWs, an amount of $1 to $2 to cover for the OT pay of its employees.

The bureau wanted to enforce its plan through a memorandum with the NAIA, Bureau of Immigration, and other concerned government agencies.

This was assailed by Migrante, with Monterona saying that “it goes against the mandate of the Migrant Workers Act and the state policy of not imposing unnecessary burdens to OFWs.”

“The inability of the BOC to pay its own employees’ OT should not be passed on to OFWs. They should raise their concern to President (Aquino) by asking for a suitable budget allocation,” he said.

But Monterona was quick to add that while his group opposes the bureau’s plan, Migrante supports the BOC employees on their fight for OT payment.

“Yearly, (major) airlines have been reporting that they are earning billions and yet they could not give a share of their profit to BoC for its employees’ OT payment,” he said. D’Jay Lazaro

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