MANILA — Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares on Sunday said that the offer of Cebu Pacific Airlines for refunds is not enough and that they should be sanctioned for their continued dismal service.
Colmenares said refund is not enough to silence disgust passengers of Cebu Pacific. He said authorities should impose stiffer penalties to send strong message.
The veteran solon in a December 16 privilege speech in Congress decried airline companies for excessive fares, delays and dismal service. Rep. Colmenares then called for an investigation of the airline companies as well as the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for failing to protect airline passengers.
“CAB should not be allowed to escape accountability since dismal service has been going on for a long time,” he pointed out.
“I wished that Congress then already called for a probe but that did not happen, so I will file a resolution when Congress opens on Jan. 5 for the probe to immediately take place. While it is good that the CAB will already start their investigation to get to some of the details of the continued inconvenience of airline passengers, I think that the CAB should also be probed for not doing its duty to regulate these airlines and protect airline passengers,” said Senior Deputy Minority Leader Colmenares.
“Aside from the long queues, delayed flights and overbooking the resolution will probe 1.) Cancelled flights; 2.) Expensive rebooking fees and penalties but when it is the airlines who cancel or change schedules there are no penalties that refund the passengers; 3.) Another problem particularly for Cebu Pacific passengers is that they offer a deceptively low initial base fare but in the end the fare shoots up due to big tax and surcharges that are even higher than that of Philippine Airlines (PAL). They also charge passengers with a web administration fee that is ridiculous,” he emphasized.
Also, he noted airlines in many instances do not use the passenger tube even if the passengers have paid for its use making it difficult for the elderly and the sick as they have to go down the tarmac.
“There has also been a substantial decrease in fuel prices leading to lower fares in jeepneys and other public transport but the airline rates have not gone down. A decrease in airline rates will not only result in a temporary relief for airline passengers but could also ease the rising prices of some commodities transported through these airline companies,” Colmenares explained.
“It would be better if the Committee on Transportation would just call for a motu propio hearing to probe these issues during the break but if not then I hope that it would immediately be scheduled on the resumption of sessions so that these airlines would improve their services,” he said.