SC approves Customs overtime pay
MANILA, Philippines — Customs personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) welcomed the Supreme Court (SC) decision giving the Bureau of Customs (BoC) the go-signal to require various airline companies to increase their overtime pay and other allowances.
In its 28-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the SC Second Division declared as constitutional the Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 1-2005 which amended CAO No. 7-92.
Under the CAO No. 7-92, the BOC officers and employees at NAIA were to receive R30-38 hourly overtime pay, R50 traveling allowance per way, and R50 allowance per meal.
CAO No. 7-92 was amended into CAO No. 1-2005 which increased the rates of all charges by more than 100 percent. The hourly overtime pay of BoC officers and employees, as provided under CAO No 7-92, would now range from P66 to P83, P110 flat rate for traveling allowance, and R110 allowance per meal.
Affected by the SC’s ruling are the members of the Board of Airlines (BAR) such as Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Continental Micronesia Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air Airways, Federal Express Corp., Gulf Air, Japan Airlines, Air France – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Kuwait Airways Corp., Lufthansa German Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Thai International Airways.
“The overtime pay, travel, and meal allowances are payment for additional work rendered after regular office hours and do not constitute double compensation prohibited under Section 8, Article IX (B) of the 1987 Constitution as they are in fact authorized by law or Section 3506 of the TCCP,” the SC said.
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Portugal Perez, and Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Based on court records, the BoC, together with Malacanang and the Department of Finance, elevated the case to the High Court after the Court of Appeals (CA) declared CAO No. 1-2005 unconstitutional on October 26, 2010
The CA, in its earlier decision, pointed out that Both CAO 7-92 and 1-2005 - which were promulgated pursuant to Section 3506 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) - were “unenforceable” against the BAR members.
Section 3506 states that “custom officials may be assigned by a collector to do overtime work at rates fixed by the Commissioner of Customs when the service rendered is to be paid for by importers, shippers, or other persons served.”