Philippine President Aquino's intervention in PAL row not yet needed

16:59, August 03, 2010      

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The Philippine government is confident that the labor problems besetting Philippine Airlines (PAL) would be resolved without the intervention of President Benigno Asquino III.

"We are not at that point of discussing whether or not the President would step in. There are three (Cabinet) Secretaries involved there. So hopefully we'll be able to come up with a resolution at the level of the Cabinet. Beyond that, we're not discussing anything about intervention by the President," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Tuesday.

Transportation Secretary Jose de Jesus, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima met up Monday to resolve the labor dispute in PAL.

Lacierda confirmed that PAL Chairman Lucio Tan was in Monday's meeting. But Tan arrived "two thirds into the meeting" and "was there just as an observer; he was not actively participating," according to Lacierda.

When asked, Lacierda said that no government takeover of PAL was discussed at anytime during the Monday meeting between the PAL management and the government.

He declined to comment on a worst case scenario, and whether this would involve a government takeover of PAL.

"We do not want to go and anticipate a government takeover," he said.

The government has stepped into the dispute between the PAL management and its employees after a group of pilots resigned for higher-paying jobs abroad. The country's flag carrier canceled at least 11 of its flights Saturday due to "inadequate" pilots.

Source: Xinhua


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