DBM, AirAsia ink deal to give discounts to gov’t employees

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THE Department of Budget and Management (DMB) and Philippines AirAsia, Inc. on Wednesday signed a deal which would provide discounted fares to government personnel taking official trips.

AirAsia Philippines is the third airline that has inked the government fares agreement (GFA), after Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

Aside from cheaper fares, other benefits of the GFA include waived rebooking fees, additional baggage allowance and free web admin fee.

“As government officials, it is our duty to get the most out of the limited public resources entrusted to us. The GFA is a step towards getting the highest value for the hard-earned money of our Filipino taxpayers,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said during the signing event, noting that airline services are one of the most requested in government procurement activities.

AirAsia President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter M. Comendador said this was its first partnership with the government.

The government has a lump-sum budget of P4 billion for official travels in 2018, covering trips by air, land and sea.

“As of end of December 2017, a total amount of P202.8 million has been generated as sales for the GFA. Considering that these airline tickets were purchased at a discount of 8% to 9% less than the regular price, a savings of P19.5 million was achieved for the government as of 2017. We expect this to be much higher this year,” Mr. Diokno said.

At present, a total of 138 government agencies, including state universities and colleges and government-owned and controlled corporations, can avail of the GFA’s benefits. — Denise A. Valdez