News inside Clark Freeport

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By Max Sangil

For the Record

Sunday, August 31, 2014


IN THE NEWS- I think everybody is all for it. It is about linking Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by a speed rail. The distance is more than a hundred kilometers and it can be negotiated in 30 minutes if the high speed rail is as fast like the bullet train (shinkanzen) in Japan. I took a bullet train from Nagoya to Tokyo and the distance of almost 400 miles only took a lttle over two hours. Smooth ride it was. Just like riding a Mercedes.

According to Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President Victor Jose 'Chichos' Luciano, President Noynoy Aquino ' is very open about it' and nodded his head in agreement during cabinet meeting attended by the former in Malacanang last week. 'But nodding his head is not an approval Chos'. Pnoy maybe just being polite? This government failed even to add more wagons on those trains of LRT and MRT.

MORE GOOD NEWS?-There was a congressional hearing held at the board room of CIAC last Friday, and a handfull congressmen were in attendance and 'they realized that there is a need to promote the airport as an international gateway of the country'.

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To many readers, they might not understand the difference between an international airport to an international gateway. To begin with, DMIA is yet an international gateway in the making. When legacy or flag carrier airlines of countries wherein our country has an Air Services Agreement (ASA) start making landings here, then that will qualify DMIA as an international gateway.

But to receive these legacy airlines from many countries you have to have a big terminal that can accommodate thousands of passengers. As it is, DMIA is not ready yet. The government should infuse more billions to be at par with other airports not necessarily like Changi of Singapore or Schipol in Amsterdam, but maybe like Incheon of South Korea.

UNSOLICITED ADVICE- It is either take it or leave it. That is the nature of an unsolicited advice. Congressman Yeng Guiao should interview workers of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) if they are in accord on his move to make the corporation into an authority. To me, there is nothing wrong in asking questions. He maybe surprised to learn that many prefer that CDC will remain as is.

As It is now, CDC operates under the corporation code of the Philippines, and pay scales of workers are determined by the board through a process that starts from the Mancom, Excom to the board of directors.
Salaries and wages are paid to workers based on the earnings of the corporation. In any event, Congressman Guiao will succeed in his solemn promise to transform CDC into an authority, salaries of workers will be based on Salary Standardization law (SLL).

That seems not palatable to the thousands of workers of CDC. If the intention is to give security of tenure to workers, they are secured like those gold at Fort Knox in Kentucky because of the recognized workers' association which inked a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with management,

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 01, 2014.

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