CAB: Cebu Pacific won’t be fined over flight cancellations

Robie de Guzman   •   May 15, 2019   •   1902

MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will not fine Cebu Pacific over its series of flight cancellations from April 28 to May 10, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.

READ: Cebu Pacific cancels more flights until May 10

The DOTr explained that no fines will be imposed after CAB found that the concerns of passengers affected by the flight cancellations have been handled properly.

“Affected passengers’ concerns were found to be handled properly by Cebu Pacific in compliance with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Thus, the imposition of penalties was not considered at present,” the DOTr said in a statement.

Instead, the CAB directed Cebu Pacific to submit within 30 days a concrete plan stating measures it will take to prevent further inconvenience to passengers.

“We are hoping that Cebu Pacific will immediately comply with the order to resolve this issue. Hindi na natin maibabalik pa ‘yung dinulot na inconvenience these cancellations have caused. But moving forward, we aim to have more substantial actions so that our passengers will not have to suffer,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

The air transport regulator also recommended that a stern warning be given to Cebu Pacific to exercise diligence necessary in maintaining stability and reliability of air transport service to the riding public.

The DOTr said that during its hearings held on May 2 and May 6, Cebu Pacific said that it was forced to cancel hundreds of its flights due to ongoing efforts to improve on-time performance (OTP) as its aircraft takes 49 to 66 minutes before being able to take off.

READ: CAB looks into Cebu Pacific flight cancellations

The flight cancellations will “create space” in their flight and crew inventory, “make way for operational recovery,” and “minimize rolling delays,” the Cebu Pacific noted.

CAB also found that the airliner had a “crewing problem,” as it concluded that “the additional time spent by the on-duty crew on the tarmac consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule.”

While the CAB understands the cancellations as a recuperative measure for the airline, it pointed out that it cannot be made at the expense of the riding public.

“We want to remind airlines to consider the welfare of its passengers by avoiding short notice. The people have paid for these flights and have made their schedules accordingly,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said.

“While we understand the corrective measures being made to improve OTP, maximum effort should be done so that these measures are not at the expense of our passengers,” he added.

For the DOTr’s part, Secretary Tugade has directed the daily publication of airline OTP in major airports nationwide.

The DOTr noted Cebu Pacific’s OTP was pushed to an average of 51.16%, with lows of around 30% in March due to the hour-long stay on the tarmac. (with details from Joan Nano)

DOTr assures no toll fee increase to be implemented amid pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday assured motorists that there will be no toll increase on expressways amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said that he understands the clamor of tollway operators for increases in toll rates to generate needed revenue for operating expenditures.

However, Tugade explained that the DOTr, through the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), must uphold and protect the interest of the public, especially with the pandemic’s economic effects.

“Nakikita natin ang pangangailangan ng operators ng increases na iyan nang sa ganon, ang mga funding requirements nila ay maasikaso. Pero kailangan din ng tulong sa sambayanan, lalo’t higit tayo ay nasa pandemyang nangyayari ngayon,” He said.

“We need to strike a good balance. Ang pangangailangan ng mga investors, ang mga kakayanan ng publiko. Kailangan ibalanse iyan,” he added.

According to Secretary Tugade, considering the conditions imposed by the pandemic, the DOTr may approve toll rate hikes, but will definitely be implemented at a later date. AAC

 

DOTr relaunches service contracting program for PUV drivers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday, September 10, relaunched the service contracting program (SCP).

The SCP aims to provide temporary livelihood to pandemic-displaced workers in the transportation industry as well as assist healthcare workers and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) with their daily commute to work through the “Libreng Sakay” program.

The initiative was approved under the Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

Under the program, public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators will receive performance-based incentives weekly— based on the number of trips made per week, whether they have a passenger or not.

Meanwhile, the government intends to implement service contracting as a regular program to provide sustainable livelihood to transport workers, with the end view of enhancing efficiency and quality of public transportation.

Full-line operation of LRT-2 East Extension stations begin

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The LRT-2 East Extension on Tuesday (September 7) officially started its full-line train operations.

Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said that passengers  from the new east extension in Marikina and Antipolo need not transfer at Santolan station to complete their journey.

Previously, a shuttle train is provided for passengers to travel from Antipolo to Santolan and vice-versa.

Berroya also reported that previously,  five trainsets were running on the Santolan to Recto and vice-versa route with 14 to 16 minutes average headway, or interval between trains, while the shuttle from Antipolo to Santolan resulted in 18 to 20 minutes average trip time.

With the full-line operation, the LRTA official announced there are now eight trainsets resulting in 10 minutes headway.

“I am truly happy that the integration and migration tests were already completed and finally, passengers will not have to transfer at Santolan to complete their journeys,” he said.

Meanwhile, the free ride for Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APORs) will only last until Tuesday as Metro Manila will shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting Wednesday (September 8).

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