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Mr. Passenger Bill of Rights

Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) executive director Carmelo “Teying” Arcilla will share his expertise and experiences with legal experts in the airline industry at the ongoing 2015 IATA (International Air Transport Association) Legal Symposium in Seoul, South Korea.  The yearly symposium is considered as “the world’s principal aviation law conference” with legal counsel from airlines, private practitioners and government lawyers taking part in the three-day conference. Arcilla (a lawyer by profession) was chosen as a panelist for the forum on “Consumer Protection in Asia.” The topic should be right up his alley since he has earned the reputation of being “Mr. Passenger Bill of Rights.”

It can be recalled that CAB slapped Cebu Pacific with a P52-million fine for the NAIA-3 Christmas chaos that saw thousands of passengers getting stranded due to delayed and cancelled flights which the carrier initially blamed on bad weather and congestion. However, an investigation by a panel composed of CAB, MIAA and CAAP found the carrier at fault, saying flights arrived late and only three counters were operating, aggravated by the overbooking of flights. In fact, it was only through CAB’s intervention that more counters were opened during the three-day holiday chaos.

Those familiar with Arcilla say he is a dedicated public servant having started out as a legal officer in the local government of Rizal. He was also in charge of the Marilaque growth corridor during the time of Joseph Estrada as president, before joining CAB as deputy executive director in 2000. Apparently, he helped provide inputs for the drafting of the

Air Passenger Bill of Rights that was passed into law in December 2012, in particular the rebooking and refund for tickets obtained via promo fares and other issues affecting consumers.

In any job, criticism is par for the course but many are convinced Arcilla is trying to be as fair as he could with regard to air rights issues. Aside from regulation, CAB is also tasked with promoting and developing the economic aspects of the air transport sector, which is why he is also cognizant of the need for foreign airlines to expand services, including the opening of additional hubs and granting additional frequencies while protecting the rights of local carriers. 

Watching ‘Fight of the Century’? Call Mayweather

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Boxing observers are saying Floyd “Money” Mayweather totally outsmarted eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao because the American was able to dictate the terms for their upcoming fight slated on May 2 at the MGM Grand. Mayweather will likely get $150 million while Pacquiao’s take will be about $100 million from percentages for pay-per-view, gate receipts, sponsorships and other sources of revenue for the “Fight of the Century.”  

A few days after Mayweather made the announcement, several reports came out saying that the rooms at the MGM Grand Hotel have already been booked – something that MGM denied blaming a computer glitch for the wrong reports. Considering the MGM’s limited capacity of 16,800, VIP tickets will most likely be at $10,000 with the “cheapest” going for $1,000 – and only those with a credit line of $250,000 with the MGM will be considered for ringside tickets. However, sources claim that the best ringside tickets have already been “reserved” by Mayweather and that they could go for as high as $25,000 – that is, if you’re lucky to get one since MGM is said to be limiting the number of seats allocated for the public,

The same sources say the fight – which could gross over $400 million – was really orchestrated by Mayweather from the very beginning, carefully planning his moves in the last five years to keep the Pacquiao camp angry enough to sustain their interest. His motor mouth almost got him into trouble when the Filipino champ sued him for defamation, with the case getting settled in 2012.

Mayweather used to be with Bob Arum (Pacquiao’s promoter) but went solo in 2006, putting up his own promotions team because he wanted to control the purse strings. Friends of Floyd say it’s but right for the fighter to get a bigger slice of the pie since he’s the one doing all the work on the ring. Besides, it was also largely through Mayweather’s efforts that the pay-per-view take for fighters was increased, saying this was the reason why the American boxer parted ways with HBO to partner with Showtime.

It seems Mayweather has got everything going his way, and even if he loses, he gets the right for a return bout. Let’s hope our Pacman will punch the lights out of this guy.

Paul Allen mega-yacht Octopus spotted in Subic

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s mega yacht Octopus was spotted in Subic, leaving many yacht owners gazing with envy at the 413-feet long, $250 million vessel that requires a full-time staff of 55 plus $20 million a year to maintain the 40 luxury guest suites, a pool and a bar, a movie house and a recording studio.

According to sources, the super yacht (which can accommodate two choppers) is now headed for Sibuyan Island, then to Palawan and other beautiful islands around the Philippines. The same source said the yacht will likely go back to Subic before it sails off to other destinations.

Not many people are familiar with Allen who has a reputation for being an international party animal. He owns the Seattle Seahawks, and has a fondness for expensive toys. His latest hobby: building the world’s biggest airplane called “Stratolaunch” from two Boeing 747s which, when finished, will weigh 1.3 million pounds with a 380-feet wingspan and six 747 engines for power. Reports say it is now 40 percent complete, with the first flight scheduled for 2016.

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Email: spybits08@gmail.com.

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