Senator: PHL losing its air-traffic controllers, weathermen-A A +A
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
JUST like its weathermen, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV warned that the country would lose many of its air-traffic controllers due to lack of benefits, ideal working conditions and job security.
Aquino said the country's air-traffic controllers have left for greener pastures abroad while others plan to join them if their working situation will not improve in the near future.
"The exodus of air-traffic controllers will mean another brain drain for the country. Also, it will slow down the operation of airports and hinder the country's tourism, which has been steadily growing in the past years," he added.
According to documents submitted to Aquino by concerned employees of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), about 195 of the country's 500 air-traffic controllers hired by CAAP from the Civil Aviation Training Center are on job-order status.
"Since the CAAP was created last 2008, no CATC graduate has been issued an appointment or not one became a regular employee," Aquino said.
"They are hired as air traffic controller assistants but they perform the duties and responsibilities that of a regular rated ATC once they obtain a rating," the senator added.
The lack of job security has forced five experienced ATC to leave the country for a better job abroad, leaving other ATCs with additional workload that leads to longer working hours.
"This is very unproductive and at the same time dangerous because it causes undue stress to our air traffic controllers. In our job where safety is the top priority, a sound mind and relaxed body is a necessity," Aquino said.
The CATC cannot provide immediate replacements to the posts vacated by several ATCs because the job requires special skills and time, Aquino said.
Before the situation worsens, Aquino called on the CAAP and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to look into the plight of the country’s ATCs before things turn for the worse. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)