Press Release
January 30, 2015

Pimentel seeks inquiry into passengers' complaints against
 inefficient air, land and sea services and operations

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III is seeking an inquiry on pressing issues involving domestic travel and the effectiveness and efficiency of the complaints and assistance mechanisms provided by various government agencies.

Pimentel has filed Senate Resolution No. 1129 to look into the services of the air, land, and maritime carriers in responding and resolving complaints relative to domestic travel.

These are the Civil Aeronautics Board, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Maritime Industry Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Transportation and Communications.

Pimentel said an influx of passengers utilizing domestic and international travel, estimated also led to an increase in the volume of complaints against land, sea and air carriers, especially cancelled bookings and flights and delayed flights.

He said air passenger traffic rose to 21.73 million in the first half of 2014 compared to 19.84 million in the same period in 2013. Domestic air travellers alone increased from 10.77 million to 12.42 million also on the same period.

Pimentel said the sad state of domestic air travel, land travel and maritime services was very much apparent last holiday season when thousands of passengers were stranded at airports, seaports and bus terminals.

He said both the DOTC and DTI moved to address the growing number of consumer complaints by executing a joint administrative order, otherwise known as the "Air Passenger Bill of Rights."

But complaints, claims, and demands still persist with irate passengers criticizing inefficient handling of their booking and transportation needs. In the first quarter of 2014 alone, a total of 199 complaints were filed against local airlines, he said.

Pimentel said alarming issues of overbooking by shipping and bus firms servicing the roll-on-roll-off Manila-to-Visayas routes also arose after thousands of passengers failed to reach their destinations on time during the December and New Year holidays.

He noted that some airline firms are outsourcing their operations, endangering the security and safety of passengers and accounts for numerous lost baggages.

Considering the country's project to boost tourism and influx of foreign investments, Pimentel said government should take the necessary measures to provide passengers and local carriers with effective and efficient means of domestic travel.

He added that new measures should also be adopted to address the complaints, demands and claims of domestic travelers more so now that the world has turned its attention to the country's tourism and investment climate.

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