SMC: Boracay airport workers to keep jobs during island's closure

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 12) - All workers and regular employees of the Boracay Airport can heave a sigh of relief as they are promised full pay throughout the island's six-month closure.

"We will retain all of them to make sure they have steady source of income during the closure," San Miguel Corporation president and COO Ramon Ang said in a statement on Thursday.

The conglomerate is expecting a slowdown in passenger traffic and aircraft movement at its Boracay Airport. Ang said SMC would offer workers a chance to make good use of their time by helping in the government's cleanup program.

"The airport won't be requiring full manpower while Boracay is totally closed to tourists so we are looking to encourage all our workers to help the government during the lull," Ang added.

Ang also offered the government the company's dredging equipment, backhoes and barges to hasten rehabilitation efforts in Boracay.

The conglomerate, through its Trans Aire Development Holdings Corp. (TADHC), holds the concession to operate the Boracay airport.

He added that the closure would allow the company to further plan out how to turn Boracay Airport into a green gateway and augment the government's effort to rehabilitate the island and turn it into a sustainable tourist destination.

"Airports are gateways and as operator of the Boracay Airport we have a responsibility to promote change and raise awareness at the front door among our visitors and the communities,"Ang said.

He added: "If government needs more people to help with cleanups and similar activities where our people can contribute, they will be ready. We are very confident that they would gladly offer their paid time to support the island's rehabilitation."

The airport itself will not shut down because there will still be a handful of flights servicing the route everyday for locals.