Up for review


Posted on January 23, 2013

Passenger rights
Barely a month after its implementation, the Air Passenger Bill of Rights appears to be up for review, said a source from the regulatory body. Airline companies, the source said, are against the provision of seeking prior passenger consent before customers are bumped off due to overbooking. According to the regulation, airlines should offer other privileges, including first-class seating on the next flight or hotel accommodation, so that the customer will voluntarily give up the seat. “But the problem is passengers wait for ‘extraordinary perks’ before they volunteer to be bumped off. Airlines are also arguing that the ‘auction system’ is time-consuming,” the source said. Others prefer to be reimbursed in cash, which, of course, is not favorable on the part of airlines. A possible compromise is to incorporate the simpler CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board) Economic Regulation (ER) No. 7 which requires airlines to pay bumped-off passengers 3,000 and a ready plane ticket for the next flight, and for international passengers 5,000 including air fare for the next available flight. “That is easier than the auction system,” the source said. ER 7 was superseded by the Passenger Bill of Rights, which became effective last Dec. 21. CAB officials and airline executive have set a meeting this month to reconcile interests of the airline industry and customers. Could there be a win-win situation?

House cleaning
HEALTH CONCERNS were the official reason for recent high-level resignations from the government , but a Palace source said some had to do with “house cleaning.” Four officials have quit since last month and expect more to come, the insider said, as the President starts weeding out officials who “give him a headache often.” Those who have tendered their resignations this month were Defense Undersecretary Benito T. Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (who will take care of his ailing wife) and Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon, president and chief executive office of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. They were preceded last month by Trade Undersecretary Cristino L. Panlilio and Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo V. De Mesa; the latter was appointed director of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

No higher goal
Re-electionist Sen. Loren B. Legarda yesterday said she will no longer seek a higher position. “Kapag nabigo -- malalaman mo kung saan ka gusto ng taong bayan dahil nag-number one ako sa Senado ng dalawang beses. Ang aking pakiramdam doon ako gusto ng taong bayan, susundin ko ang gusto ng taong bayan [In case of failure -- you will sense the people’s preference as I topped two senatorial elections. I sense that the Senate is where the people would like me to be, I will follow the people’s will],” she said in radio interview. Ms. Legarda has also topped recent independent polls on the senatorial candidates for the May polls. The senator lost during the 2004 and 2010 vice-presidential elections to Manuel “Noli” L. de Castro and Jejomar C. Binay, respectively.