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Duterte reminds airlines: Providing convenience is essential

Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the 121st anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy at Sangley Point on Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo from an RTVM video)

MANILA, Philippines — The very essence of a common carrier is convenience.

President Rodrigo Duterte said this Monday as he reminded airline companies that they had no right to offer air travel if they could not ensure the riding public convenience and comfort.

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Speaking at the 121st anniversary of the Philippine Navy at Sangley Point, Cavite, Duterte recounted the suffering of passengers over flight delays and cancellations.

“Merong isang eroplanong nag-landing and they [passengers] stayed for five hours inside the plane — incoming. So merong tumawag late ng two hours. Mag-book sila ng hotel. Kawawa talaga ang riding public,” he said.

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[Ther was a plane that landed and the passengers stayed for five hours inside the plane — incoming. Somebody called after two hours. They would be booked in a hotel. I really pity the riding public.]

“So I told PAL [Philippine Airlines] and the rest of the carriers: The very essence of a common carrier — whether it is a jeep, a bus, an airplane, a ship — ang common ano diyan is for public interest and public governance, and convenience. If you cannot provide convenience and comfort, do we ought not to be there at all?”

The President’s pronouncement came a week after he said that he would want the airport at Sangley Point to be operational by November to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), the country’s main gateway which had as been operating over its capacity.

The President also made a surprise visit at Naia last week and personally apologized to passengers affected by the flight delays and cancellations due to a recent lightning alert.

READ

Duterte conducts surprise Naia inspection, apologizes for flight woes

Duterte wants Sangley Airport operational by November

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In April, Duterte threatened Naia officials of a possible military takeover if they could not improve their services.

“‘Yang Naia na ‘yan ‘pag hindi kayo nag-improve diyan, magtake-over diyan Air Force. ‘Yan lang ang paraan diyan,” the President said.

In September 2018, a consortium composed of the country’s biggest conglomerates received the original proponent status (OPS) to rehabilitate the country’s main gateway.

READ: Duterte to Naia officials: Improve operations or face military takeover

(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)

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TAGS: airlines, airport, NAIA, PAL, Philippine Airlines, Rodrigo Duterte
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