The Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), the operator of Light Rail Transit I (LRT1), is laying off close to 20 percent of its workforce or over 100 employees next month after suffering a 90 percent drop in ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
LRMC head of corporate communications Jacqueline Gorospe said the “right-sizing program” will take effect on September 15, 2020.
As LRMC has scaled down operations during the quarantine period and deferred some projects, it has to reduce the size of its workforce to cut costs.
The aim is “to right-size the organization to better suit the current and future business conditions, as well as maintain stability while navigating through the uncertainty of this global crisis,” Gorospe said.
In its statement issued August 11, 2020, the LRMC management explained it has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation from the start.
It has taken appropriate measures, balancing LRT 1’s financial position while looking after team members.
The decision to reduce manpower went through multiple levels of approvals involving the LRMC Senior Management Committee, in close consultation with LRMC’s employee union.
LRMC assures that it faithfully complies with all Department of Labor and Employment guidelines.
To support and take care of affected employees, each employee will receive rightful benefits under the law and even above what is in the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.
On top of this, LRMC has partnered with Xcelarator Talent Solutions to assist affected members on livelihood and investing wisely.
The company will also offer webinars and online consultations on managing mental health.
The LRT-1, which runs from Roosevelt Station in Quezon City to Baclaran Station in Pasay City, has a daily ridership of at least 300,000 passengers daily, to as much as 500,000 passengers due to the increased number of trains before the pandemic.
Since the enforcement of an enhanced community quarantine mid-March, all forms of public transportation, including the LRT-1, have been suspended.
The line’s operations resumed under general community quarantine on June 1 but were halted anew when the capital region reverted to a modified ECQ from August 4 to 18.