MANILA — Employees of the Philippine Postal Corporation led by their unions the PhilPost Rank-and-File Employees Association (Prafea) and the PhilPost Workers Union (PWU) held a solidarity run from the Liwasang Bonifacio on May 8 to further highlight what they said was the worsening corruption in PhilPost.
When they arrived at the foot of Chino Roces (formerly Mendiola) bridge, they had a picnic lunch of dried fish, tomatoes and rice in front of the Peace Arch.
The postal workers said that when Dela Cruz assumed office, she had two pending graft cases at the Sandiganbayan.
“Dela Cruz is barely ten months in office but she has already terminated the services of almost 300 employees without due process. Through her illegal Rationalization Plan (RatPlan), she also intends to dismiss thousands more in the coming weeks and months,” said Prafea president Manuel Rama.
Rank-and-file employees earn less than P300 (US$7) a day, and most of them have been with the post office for almost two decades.
According to Rama, majority of the 300 terminated employees from various post offices in the country had been employed at PhilPost for 10 to 20 years, but they were all terminated unjustly.
In the meantime, the employees feel even more threatened after reports came out that the PhilPost office building will soon be converted into a hotel.
Last April 23, a report came out in the Manila Times quoting the vice president of Manila’s Historical and Heritage Commission Gemma Cruz-Araneta that the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore is in the midst of negotiations with the Department of Finance to have the 86-year-old neoclassical post office building converted into a five-star hotel.
The Manila Times report also said that the Fullerton Hotel was the General Post Office Building before Sino Land (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd. brought it from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore in 1997 and converted it into a luxury hotel. Sino Land reportedly spent close to US$300 million to convert the Singapore post office into the Fullerton Hotel.
The report also said that Dela Cruz has previously stated that the costs of maintaining the building is already too much and that revenues have fallen as less people send mail through post and instead use e-mail and text messaging.
Text and Photos by Ina Alleco R. Silverio