By Raïssa Robles
Our country’s premiere airport gateway in Metro Manila is now suddenly short of eight “ramp controllers” – you know, those guys who direct those multi-million dollar planes where to go after landing at the tarmac.
Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Honrado said today that eight of these controllers resigned last week for higher paying jobs abroad. And how much were they being paid?
Oh, only 13,000 pesos a month and on a contractual basis.
Of course it’s not Honrado’s fault that this kind of salary arrangement has existed there for so long. Honrado himself is a fresh-hire.
But don’t you get the feeling that our government has been run for years like a family-owned hacienda? Those at the top with close connections to the President get oodles and oodles of money, while those below get piddling sums?
Our government pays a highly skilled airport ramp controller the same rate as a new-hire call center agent in Makati. Honrado said he recently signed an order raising the pay to 15,000 pesos a month.
Why, that’s nearly a bit more than what the electrician who rewired our house charged (600 pesos a day, working six days a week).
Honrado says they plan to nearly double the pay if approved by the budget department.
It’s time the government appreciates and pays for technical, blue-collar skills.