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Speaker threatens to revoke franchise of erring airlines, castigates CebuPac for not using tube

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House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he was giving airlines and regulatory agencies only 45 days to rationalize their flights to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Any violation shall be meted with harsh penalties, including the revocation of their franchise, the Speaker said after attending a hearing by the House committee on transportation.

“You know the reason why I also invited chairman of franchise, because yung mga ayaw sumunod sa rules and regulations ng gubyerno, we can always cancel their respective franchises, and we are not joking. We are not threatening you. We are serious in promoting the safety, comfort and convenience of the public,” the Speaker said during the hearing.

“We will ask the authorities na ‘wag nilang payagan to operate. We will also consider the cancellation of their franchises. Violation ‘yan. Alam mo, kailangan talaga sa transportation, business yan, isaalang-alang mo, safety, comfort and convenience ng public,” Alvarez told reporters afterward.

During the hearing, the Speaker scolded Cebu Pacific executives led by its president Lance Gokongwei for avoiding tacking fees by not using airport tubes or jet bridges for passengers.

“You know there’s one more thing for Cebu Pacific, in so many instances in all airports, kahit may tube hindi nyo ginagamit. Pinapabayaan nyo ‘yung pasahero na andun sa baba, naglalakad. May available tube e, it happened also in Davao. I’ve seen it myself. May tube hindi nyo ginamit Kawawa yung pasahero, may dalang anak, umuulan. basang basa,” he said.

Alvarez recalled that he even scolded the flight attendant. “Sabi nya, ‘sir wala akong magagawa yun ang utos ng management’,” he said.

“Okay yung profit ang concern nyo pero wag nyo namang isacrifice ang safety, comfort and convenience ng passengers,” Alvarez said.

Gokongwei replied: “Respectfully, sir, our main concern is passenger safety and convenience… Sa tube po, it’s a policy na if a tube is available we will use it.”

“The only situations where hindi po kami gumagamit ng tube is when the tube is not available for our passengers and that in fact is our policy for the six airport destinations in the Philippines,” he added. “In your specific case, the example you’ve seen, I have to find out the specifics.”

Alvarez said, “Well that’s a lie. If you’re telling the truth, you have to start firing the operations managers in different airports. Ang nangyari kasi ganito, pag hindi kayo gumamit ng tube, wala kayong babayaran, walang tacking fees.”