Press Release
January 9, 2015

Koko seeks inquiry into domestic air travel problems

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today bewailed the sad state of domestic air travel and maritime services that recently saw thousands of holiday travellers stranded at airports and seaports.

Pimentel cited in particular the chaotic operations of a local airline that caught the ire of local and foreign travellers whose flights were delayed for hours or cancelled on last minute.

He also expressed alarm on the overbooking of shipping and bus firms servicing the roll-on-roll-off, Manila-to-Visayas routes as thousands of passengers failed to reach their destinations on time.

The Mindanao senator asked the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to impose stiff sanctions against erring companies to protect the interest of the riding public.

He said it is about time that laws governing the operations of airlines and shipping and bus companies are reviewed and updated so that they conform to international standards.

Pimentel specifically questioned the practice of outsourcing the ground services of airline companies which he said could unduly endanger the security and safety of passengers.

He said personnel handling the ground services of airline companies should be properly trained and strictly selected because they are handling highly sensitive flight operations.

Pimentel quoted aviation officials that other airlines did not encounter similar problems during the holidays despite a heavy schedule, including the alleged congestion at the airports.

He said he would call for a Senate investigation into the state of the country's domestic airline operations when Congress resumes this month to include an inquiry into ro-ro services.

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