President Rodrigo Duterte slammed the local airline industry, dominated by Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines and John Gokongwei’s Cebu Pacific, for charging very expensive air fares to Filipinos.
“Mahal masyado ang pamasahe ngayon. Totoo lang. One of the most expensive ang Pilipinas sa pamasahe ng eroplano ?no. ?Yung pamasahe ng eroplano. You can get it about $100 outside with the same distance,” said Duterte in a speech in Ilocos Norte Sunday.
The Davao City Council is currently hearing complaints against PAL?s overpriced Davao-Manila airfare which was more expensive than the Manila-Hong Kong rate and 50 percent higher than the fares of rival Cebu Pacific.
Duterte hoped that PAL and Cebu Pacific operate in more missionary routes, moderate thir greed and sacrifice some of their profits to make their air fares more affordable to local travelers.
“If they can provide, marami namang sakayan, mura namang eroplano ngayon, kung sakali. ?Wag lang nilang mahalan masyado,” he said.
Duterte asked Transportation Secretary Art Tugade if the government could “control” prices of airlines amid mounting complaints of excessive airfares.
Tugade replied that the Civil Aeronautics Board has say in the fares charged by airlines but he was quick to come to the defense of PAL and Cebu Pacific who has petiitioned to jack up their rates further by adding a fuel surcharge.
“Ngayon ho ?yung presyo sa pagsakay sa eroplano involved ho diyan ?yung tinatawag na presyo ng fuel, ?yung Avgas (aviation gs) control. Kaya ?pag tumaas ?yung presyo ng Avgas sa merkado, tataas din ?yung presyo ng pamasahe,” said Tugade.
” Kasi ho wala po tayong sariling fuel, langis. ?Yung mga iba ho meron sila. Kaya ?yun ho ?yung malaking advantage nila. Sana ho kung meron tayong sariling langis maka-calibrate mo ?yan,” said Tugade to explain why PAL and Cebu Pacific have to charge very high fares.