Lawmaker seeks suspension of Cebu Pacific’s franchise over flight woes

Lawmaker seeks suspension of Cebu Pacific�s franchise over flight woes
This March 13, 2020 photo shows a Cebu Pacific plane at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Philstar.com / Rosette Adel

MANILA, Philippines — Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro) has filed a resolution seeking to suspend the franchise of budget carrier Cebu Pacific.

House Resolution 1101 aims to temporarily suspend the granted franchise of Cebu Air Inc under Republic Act 751. This act allows the establishment and operation of transport services for mail, goods, and property transportation. The resolution comes in response to recent flight cancellations by the airline.

“Cebu Pacific has a history of unsatisfactory service to the public,” the resolution reads.

Rodriguez stressed the inconvenience faced by passengers due to Cebu Pacific's flight delays and cancellations. He further noted passengers' dissatisfaction with the lack of prompt assistance and support from the airline's customer service hotlines and in-person helpdesks.

“Some of the complaints that were brought up during a Senate Inquiry include one passenger saying how bad they were treated by Cebu Pacific on their return flight to Manila from Tokyo on June 5,” the resolution read.

Among the instances cited was a passenger who experienced flight delay, without food and any commitment for accommodation while waiting for their flight and they were forced to sleep on the floor of Narita International Airport in Japan.

Another passenger claimed to nearly miss her dentistry board exam when her flight from Dumaguete last May was moved four days after the scheduled exam date.

In the resolution, Rodriguez also wrote that a franchise is only a special privilege granted to “do certain things conferred by government on an individual or corporation, and which does not belong to citizens generally of common right.”

Not the first: Rodriguez' House Resolution 1101 was filed days after Makabayan bloc lawmakers Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela Women's Party), France Castro (ACT Teachers Partylist) and Raoul Manuel (Kabataan Partylist) filed a similar resolution to probe the complaints against the airline.

  • House Resolution 1093 urged the lower chamber's transportation committee to conduct an investigation into the complaints against the budget carrier, particularly on alleged overbooking, offloading and booking glitches.
  • 1093 filed on the same day the Senate tourism and public services committees also conducted a probe into the complaints of Cebu Pacific passengers inconvenienced by recent incidents of overbooking, offloading and online booking glitches.

Cebu Pacific earlier vowed to fix the issues of its website following complaints of customers being charged with rebooking fees. —Rosette Adel

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