Roxas Meet Land Transport Stakeholders; DOTC Begin Public Hearing On Airline Passenger Rights Friday and Air Industry Stakeholders Support DOTC-DTI Effort to Create Passenger Bill Of Rights
Posted on July 13th By buhat sa Department Of Transportation and Communications
Manila, Philippines – Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas told leaders of different PUV drivers’ and operators’ associations in the country that DOTC will continue with the reforms in the land transport sector it started one year after he assumed leadership. These reforms will continue to be directed towards a more open and transparent implementation of land transport regulations.
In an informal lunch meeting with the land transport stakeholders at the DOTC headquarters, Roxas said he wanted to eliminate the ‘culture of patronage and corruption’ that has riddled the transportation sector for years.
Among the transport groups that attended the meeting were PISTON, PEJODAP, LTOP, PASANG MASDA, ALTODAP, ACTO, PTAP, NCTU, and STOP & GO.
Roxas said there will be more changes as he enters his second year as head of the department, and will find the best ways, through the help of the PUV organizations, in ensuring success of the projects the department had rolled out during the last 12 months.
One area is in the process of issuing franchises. He said the department was headed towards the setting up of an objective mechanism for the granting of franchises to eliminate corruption and the elements of subjectivity, like the patronage system.
He reiterated that whenever there would be available franchises or need to issue new franchises, these would be bidded out so only the company or group that can give the best deal for the government and the public, can get it.
Soon the public will likewise witness the institution of a new policy that transport franchises cannot be arbitrarily sold and bought like any ordinary commodity in the market.
“Itong franchise, privilege ito na gina-grant ng gobyerno, walang kaibahan ito sa prangkisa sa radio, sa TV, sa airline o kaya sa bapor, parehas lang yan,” Roxas said.
“Pag binigyan ka ng prangkisa, kailangan gampanan mo ang mga obligasyon mong nakapaloob dito. Kapag hindi mo ginampanan ‘yan, kailangan ibalik mo yan sa gobyerno, hindi mo pwedeng ibenta,” he said.
Roxas said DOTC continues to search for the best alternative in converting diesel engines of jeepneys and buses into more eco-friendly engines. He called on the land transport group to work with DOTC and pitch in their ideas, talents and resources in bringing the project to success.
“Pinagsusumikapan nating makakita ng tamang paraan upang magkaroon ng alternatibo ng more eco-friendly engines to PUVs, either LPG or CNG. We have the energy and resources to do it but we need your suggestions on how we can make it successful; if you any bright ideas, we’ll listen to them so we can develop a viable CNG or LPG system,” Roxas urged the land transport stakeholders.
Integrated Transport System
He said the Integrated Transport System will push through soon to better manage the traffic and the pollution by limiting the provincial buses that ply through Metro Manila roads to three central terminals located at the rims of the metropolis.
He said this project is on track and the possible sites have been identified where to put up the terminals near the North Luzon Expressway, near the South Luzon Expressway and near Cavite Expressway.
Local government color-coding schemes
During the open forum, Efren de Luna, president of Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations, also raised their concern regarding an ordinance by the Dagupan City Council that sets a color-coding scheme prohibiting jeepneys from operating for two days every week.
De Luna added that his group is planning to file a formal complaint before the DOTC Action Center on the matter. He said that a local ordinance cannot override policies set by national government agencies like the routes and privileges specified for their jeepneys by the LTFRB
Roxas said the DOTC legal team would study and assess this issue once the department receives the formal complaint.
Manila, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications, together with the Department of Trade and Industry, will be conducting a series of public hearings beginning Friday to draft a bill of rights for airline passengers.
Those confirmed to attend are DTI secretary Greg Domingo, DOT secretary Ramon Jimenez, member of Committee of Transportation and co-author of the Airline Passenger Fairness Act, Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento, representatives of airline companies, and consumer groups.
Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas said, “This is an important public hearing aimed at getting the consensus of everyone para maging patas, hayag at transparent ang exercise na ito. ”
Among the issues that will be discussed and deliberated in the hearing is the process of bumping off passengers due to airlines’ practice of overbooking flights.
Roxas said there should be a system of bidding where if there is a need to bump off passengers because of overbooking, the airline companies will start offering incentives which gradually increases until they get enough number of passengers who will accept it and opt to back out and take the next flight.
“But the decision which passenger who would be bumped off will no longer be at the hands of the airline companies,’ Roxas said.
Roxas added that pending the release of the comprehensive air passenger bill of rights, the CAB regulations will still be in effect.
CAB had issued Economic Regulation No. 7 which provides better compensation for bumped off passengers and victims of delayed and cancelled flights. It also issued other resolutions which suspend airlines’ option to overbook flights as a revenue-management practice and the conditions on non-refundability and non-rebookability.
The resolutions, however, together with the newly amended CAB ER No. 7, were merely interim measures undertaken by DOTC and CAB to address the seemingly prevalent complaints in airports.
Several airline companies filed before the CAB motions for reconsideration to set aside the resolutions. CAB denied their motions but deferred the effectivity of the earlier resolutions on overbooking, non-rebookability and non-refundability on June 13, 2012.
A clearer policy on overbooking, non-rebookability and non-refundability will be decided jointly by DOTC and DTI after the public hearings and the approval of the Bill of Rights for air passengers.
At the public hearings, DOTC/DTI will consider the interest of airline passengers and that of the airline companies’ especially in light of the growing local and international tourism industry.
“Ako’y naniniwala sa isang hayag, transparent at makabuluhang pag-uusap para magkaroon tayo ng Passenger Bill of Rights na sasang-ayunan ng lahat ng involved,” Roxas said. “Alalahanin natin lahat, ang pasahero ang boss.”
A copy of the draft Passenger Bill of Rights will be provided to various consumer groups, airline companies and the Congress for review before the final document is finalized within a month.
Manila, Philippines – Air transport industry stakeholders led by airline companies and various consumer groups unanimously expressed their full support to the joint effort of the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Department of Trade and Industry in spearheading the creation of a comprehensive Passenger Bill of Rights for air passengers.
The support was extended during the historic and unprecedented first public hearing this morning at the DOTC headquarter to hear and solicit the views of the stakeholders.
“We will consider all views to balance out the interest of all the stakeholders,” Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas said in his opening statement. “We will hear what everybody has to say, we will amend accordingly, and then we will officially convert it into regulation.”
The hearing was presided by Roxas and DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo. Also present were Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Samar 1st district Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento, CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado, and CAAP new director general William Hotchkiss III.
Among the airline companies who expressed support and presented their views to the joint OTC-DTI panel were Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, SeaAir, Air Philippines, Zest Air and Sky Airways.
Consumers groups present were the National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection, National Consumer Affairs Council and other private individuals. Representing the travel agents was the Philippine Travel Agencies’ Association.
DOT Secretary Jimenez described the hearing as a “historic day.” He said the problem of runway congestion in our airports was brought about the sudden surge in travel.
“We wouldn’t be in this room today if there wasn’t a sudden surge in travel in our country,” Jimenez said.
The stakeholders were given turn to present their positions and submit their inputs or amendments to the 13-page working draft of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.
DTI Secretary Domingo said the effort was to try to strike a balance between the interest of airline companies and the minimum standard for passenger right.
Rep. Sarmiento, member of the House of Representatives’ Committee of Transportation and co-author of the Airline Passenger Fairness Act, similarly extended his support to the administrative order.
“Sa punto po ng Kamara de Representante. Kami po’y sang-ayon sa posisyon ng DOTC. Alam naman po natin na ang Kamara po ay nag-aallocate ng pondo, binabago na rin po ng Kamara ang posisyon niya. Eh kung dati po ay gawa nang gawa ng airport kahit walang merkado, hindi na po ganon ang posisyon ng Kamara ngayon,” referring to the DOTC policy on developing airports.
Passenger issues and complaints
Among the issues raised by airline companies were passengers’ responsibility in arriving at airports three hours before their flight, delayed and cancelled flights due to force majeure, the requirement for a reserved aircraft, and the coverage of inbound and outbound international flights.
Elvira Medina of the NCCSP made a pitch for the rights of persons with disabilities and the improvement of emergency facilities inside aircrafts. Other representatives and private individuals also expressed the sentiments of the PWDs, as well as for senior citizens.
Labor advocate and former Undersecretary of DOLE Toots Ople said overseas Filipino workers welcome the development and relayed the sentiments of some OFWs who had been bumped off from their flights on their way to their overseas destination to work.
The airline companies also presented their concerns but vowed to follow the administrative order that would created the passengers bill of rights.
“Let me reiterate to the airline companies that we are not here to ruin their business or cause them to lose money or in any way jeopardize what has been a successful model. But this model cannot be successful at the expense of the rights of the innocent passenger, who is a contractual partner in a contract entered into whenever a ticket is sold,” Roxas said.
Roxas said all written inputs and proposed amendments will be received by the Technical Working Group up to July 16. The next hearing is tentatively scheduled on July 20.
Roxas said the hearing will rationalize and clarify the rights and obligations of the passengers and the airlines and will foster a better relationship between the two sectors.
“Magiging mas malinaw ang mga karapatan at obligasyon ng mga pasahero at ganundin ang mga airlines. Magiging mas maayos ang kanilang relasyon at yung sisihan, yung turuan kung sino man ang may kasalanan ay mababawasan,” Roxas said.
“Ang convenience ng passengers at growth ng ating industry ay magiging mas assured dahil naayos ang relasyon ng pasahero at mga airlines,” he added.
Tags: passenger bill of rights
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