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PNCC chief sued over unfair labor, harassment: ‘Pure lies’

by Jericho Zafra

THE employees  union of the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) has filed a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman against its president, lawyer Miguel Umali and Assistant Vice President and Head of Human Resource Felix Erece over alleged unfair labor practices and union busting.

The complaint was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, a copy of which was obtained by republicasia Thursday.

This is not the first time a PNCC officer has been embroiled in a dispute. In 2020, the Sandiganbayan convicted a former PNCC official to life imprisonment for failing to render accounts or liquidate P39.62 million in cash advances from 2006 to 2010. 

PNCC is a Government-Owned or Controlled Corporation (GOCC) that is responsible for contracting business with private firms and government agencies in terms of constructing any infrastructures, including buildings, roads, sidewalks, highways, and other construction-related initiatives.

Withholding requirements

In their complaint with the Ombudsman, the PNCC Employees Union said that Umali is “withholding some financial requirements” to delay the implementation of EO 150 in the agency.

LOOK: Copy of Complaint  vs. PNCC President Atty Miguel Umali and Mr. Felix Erece obtained by RepublicAsia

According to the employees, they are requesting the PNCC for the compliance of EO No. 150 or the “Approving the Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) and Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles, and Job Grades for GOCCs (IOS-G) Framework, Repealing Executive Order No. 203 (s. 2016), and for Other Purposes,” but they were told “huwag nang asahan ‘yan.” 

The EO No. 150 grants salary increases, position titles, and job grades to rank and file GOCC employees.

PNCC top officials Umali and Erece have failed and refused to comply with the said EO No. 150  for more than a year now,  “depriving” the workers of their needed financial benefits, Venjie Namocatcat, President of PNCC Employees Union, said in the complaint.

Union busting

The union likewise noted in the complaint that since workers initiated the formation of the PNCC Employees Union, Umali has been harassing its members and convincing them to dismember or resign from the union, or else they won’t be promoted.

“Sa kadahilanang kami po ay sumali sa PNCC Employees Union (PEU), na sa pagkakaalam po namin ay naaayon sa batas at karapatan po naming manggagawa, tinakot po kami na kung hindi titiwalag sa PEU ay hindi kami mapo-promote,” said the union’s testimony.

“Sinabihan din kami na isususpinde sa trabaho pag ipinagpatuloy ang Union. Ang iba sa amin ay sinabihan na matatanggalan ng trabaho,” it said.

In an exclusive phone call interview with republicasia, Atty. Umali has denied all allegations filed against him.

“As I have explained to the union, ‘yung EO 150 is not self-executing, the GCG, [the Governance Commission on GOCCs,] still has to issue the CPCS [Compensation and Position Classification System] to be implemented by the GOCCs,” he said.

“We’re waiting for that, and we cannot implement anything because there’s nothing to implement right now,” he added.

Umali said the PNCC had submitted all the requirements to the GCG but has yet to receive the commission’s issuance of authority in order to grant the employees’ benefits. Citing Section 3 of the EO, Umali said the PNCC, as a GOCC, “cannot implement it (EO 150) until it’s given the authority by the GCG.”

“Demolition job”

“This is a clear demolition job against me. Clearly, the accusations are all fabricated and pure lies. You can verify this with the PNCC employees. It is quite obvious that somebody is manipulating or using these few union officers for some vested interests or hidden agenda,” he said in a Viber text message to republicasia on Friday.

RepublicAsia has reached out to Namocatcat for a comment but has yet to receive a response as of posting time.

In 2020, the  Sandiganbayan convicted Segundo Gaston, former PNCC senior vice president, of breaching Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code in a 34-page decision issued on November 27 by the anti-graft court’s Third Division.

He was meted out  life imprisonment for failing to render accounts or liquidate P39.62 million in cash advances from 2006 to 2010. 

Gaston was also compelled to pay a P240,000 fine and P39.62 million in damages to the PNCC.



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