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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:33 AM   #581
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Flying Schools fly by night
The Real Score
By Recto Mercene

July 7, 2010
Part 1

CAAP Starts Cleansing: Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines chief Alfonso Cusi (right) signs pilot’s licenses. Cusi has called in the National Bureau of Investigation to ferret out the syndicates issuing bogus examination results and pilots certificates in exchange for hefty bribes. Looking on is Capt. Raul Trinidad, technical assistant and Caap lead investigator into the manufactured documents.
THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has found strong evidence of collusion between flying-school authorities and some officials of the former Air Transportation Office (ATO) who issued fraudulent pilots licenses and fabricated certificates signed with the forged signatures of former Air Transportation assistant secretaries without actually taking the written examinations.

Some examinees may have taken only a few of the five test subjects but were eventually made to appear that they hurdled all the tests, then applied or received commercial pilot certificates from the school where they enrolled.

To expedite the long hours of flying needed to qualify before taking the examinations, some student pilots, with the tacit approval of their schools, padded their flying hours by logging flights that were not actually flown.

These were among the findings that the NBI reported to Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) Director General Alfonso Cusi.

Cusi called in the NBI after he was informed, shortly after assuming office in March that a syndicate had been operating within the aviation body for decades, dispensing licenses and certificates in exchange for hefty bribes.

Cusi has appointed Capt. Raul Trinidad, a former Philippine Airlines Boeing 747 captain, as lead investigator, coordinating closely with the NBI to flush out the members of the syndicates and hale them to court.

Passing the airmen’s examination and getting certified as a private pilot is a highly expensive and time-consuming process, since airmen’s examinations are difficult and an aspiring student pilot needs to pass different examinations like a lawyer wanting to hurdle the bar or a physician taking the board examinations, said Trinidad.

Only when one had successfully hurdled all the examinations can a pilot be certified either as a student, private or commercial pilots.

However, the NBI has found that one foreign student passed the eight subjects on the same day and got an 80-percentage-point grade on each subject taken.

Not content with that, the foreign student allegedly took the written examination to get a rating to fly a twin-engine airplane and an additional rating for a Cessna 172 four-seater trainer.

“This guy is a genius,” says Trinidad, who says that, usually, a student takes the test one subject per week or, at most, two subjects a week if he is really a good student.

The student pilot in question was also found to have received his flying certificate from private pilot to commercial pilot within one month.

The NBI and the Caap have found that the certificates given to some students bore the signature of the former ATO chief, Daniel Dimagiba. However, the latter denied that it was his signature that was on the document and submitted specimens of his signature to the NBI for comparison.

The NBI also impounded the typewriters at the Caap’s examination board’s office to trace the source of the bogus certificates.

Trinidad added that the NBI has hired forensic experts on signature identification to find out who forged the bogus documents issued to the pilots, many of whom are foreigners.

Trinidad says the criminal syndicates usually make arrangement with some flying schools to agree on a package deal where the examination results and certificates would be delivered for a fee of between $30,000 and $50,000, depending on the student’s degree of achievement.

From student pilot, which usually takes only 25 hours of flying, the pilot-trainee conducts more flights and take another set of examination to be certified as a “Private Pilot.”

Thereafter, through the years of continuous flying and examinations, he becomes a “Commercial Pilot,” an “Instrument-Rated Pilot,” an “Air Transport-Rated Pilot,” which eventually qualifies him to become an airline pilot, although starting as a copilot.

A similar flying school at Clark Field in Pampanga charges P2 million, guaranteeing that the applicant would graduate within two years and be qualified as an Airbus 320 pilot, Trinidad said.

Most of the victims are Indian students.

There are some of them—willing and unwilling victims—from India, who said they enrolled in the Philippines because of the proficiency of Filipinos in English, aside from the reasonable tuition.

Another Indian student, who will remain anonymous, find out to his surprise that he has a bogus certificate when he applied to become a commercial pilot.

Trinidad says the student went to seek the help of the Indian Embassy, who coordinated with the Caap to try to clear the issue.

That was when Cusi discovered the anomalous procedures at the Caap licensing section, forcing him to seek NBI help.

“I want to bring back the integrity of our flying licenses,” Cusi said.


Flying Schools Probed
By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer


The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines on Tuesday said it was investigating at least 63 flying schools in the country after the agency confirmed reports of fake pilot licenses and leakages of flight examination answers given to aviation students.

In a press conference, CAAP consultant and head investigator Raul Trinidad said several Filipino and foreign aviation students were able to obtain “packages” in return for US$30,000 to US$40,000 (P1.4 million to P1.86 million) cash. They are given correct answers to a series of tests they have to take as part of their certification and a genuine license to show that they passed.

Trinidad said three CAAP teams, with the help of National Bureau of Investigation agents, have been undertaking a nationwide probe for the past three weeks. At least nine CAAP personnel from the licensing division and examination board of the CAAP have been asked to submit affidavits to explain their alleged involvement in the irregularities.

The CAAP official showed reporters one “fake” certificate indicating a foreign student taking five different examinations for just one day. The certificate showed that the examinee scored 80 percent in each subject, namely, civil air regulations, theory of flight, meteorology, emergency procedure and navigation.

“One exam is usually taken for one whole day but in this certificate the student took all five exams in one day, which is not possible. There are really irregularities,” Trinidad said.

The sample that he showed has a control number that is not found in the records of the CAAP examination board, he added.

He said there were also cases wherein certificates for commercial pilot, training aircraft, twin engine and airmen exams turned out to be fake. The performance and training certificates were submitted to the CAAP so that it could issue a corresponding pilot’s license.

Trinidad said licenses were indeed issued despite fake certificates that were submitted, which only means students who did not undergo a real skills testing may now be flying aircraft.

Trinidad said 63 flying schools, which he declined to identify, will be undergoing a “thorough inspection.” He also declined to identify the foreign students issued fake licenses or to say if they were already flying aircraft.

“If the schools aren’t compliant, it will be investigated and eventually be suspended. If it’s proven that it’s just fly-by-night flying schools, they will be closed down,” Trinidad said.

He also called on the flying school graduates to come to the agency and expose the school officials responsible.

“We won’t go after them (the students). We’re here to help them,” he said, adding that the investigation was in compliance with the requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

He said the fake licenses and exam leakages were one of the factors behind ICAO’s negative assessment of the Philippine aviation industry. This had led to industry’s downgrading by the United States Federal Aviation Administration in 2008 and blacklisting by the European Aviation Safety Agency this year.

Probe hopes to bring back lost prestige
By Recto Mercene
Part 2

The number of foreign students enrolled in local flying schools has gone down over the years owing to a perceived decline in the worth of Philippine-issued pilots’ licenses in the eyes of the international community.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) chief Alfonso Cusi cites one cost of such decline: thousands of these foreign students bring in plenty of hard currencies into the country’s coffers, preferring to enroll here because it is cheaper to graduate in the Philippines compared with other countries.

He said foreign students also find the English-speaking community of Filipinos easy to deal with, aside from their hospitality and friendly nature.

Foreign students who have gained their wings in the Philippines include Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sudanese, Saudi Arabian, Malaysian, Korean, Jordanian and Canadian pilots.

India alone has sent to various countries, including the Philippines, about 20,000 students to learn how to fly in anticipation of the growth of the subcontinent’s commercial airline industry, according to Ronie Briones, a senior aviation safety officer of the CAAP.

He said many foreigners also choose the Philippines over other countries because Manila readily offers student visas or special student permits to those wanting to get training that includes ground schooling, supervised flying and simulators.

The United States has many flying schools, but foreign students are usually discouraged by the expensive tuition that schools there charge.

Meanwhile, Cusi said the ongoing investigation into the reported issuance of fake licenses and certificates is aimed at getting back the prestige that once made Philippine flying schools famous and prestigious.

 Even as the investigation is going on, Cusi said the Caap issues about 1,000 licenses a month to would-be captains of commercial airlines.

He added that since the investigation started three weeks ago, the aviation body has temporarily stopped conducting licensing examinations, but had since resumed this after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) entered the picture.

He said that with NBI’s help, the Caap would be able to identify the flying schools issuing bogus licenses and certificates, including some corrupt insiders.

Some flying schools and foreign students are cooperating in the investigation.

“These fake licenses and certificates are very serious matters that undermine the credibility and integrity of Philippine flying schools, and we would like to see this investigation to lead to some convictions,” Cusi told a press conference.

He added that the Caap had seen to it that no foreign students linked with any terrorist organization gets enrolled in the Philippines. Student visas are subject to scrutiny by the Immigration bureau, in coordination with foreign embassies.

One of the best of these schools used to be that run by Philippine Airlines (PAL), where many of the captains who used to command some Asian airlines were graduates, according to Capt. Raul Trinidad, a senior adviser to Cusi.

There is a mad rush to get a pilot’s license because of the projected need for about 20,000 pilots worldwide within the next 10 to 15 years due to the expanding air-travel business and the unstoppable movement of people around the globe, according to Lino Zapanta, president of Seair and professor at the University of the Philippines.

Zapanta said airlines worldwide are preparing to buy thousands of airplanes in the next 10 years because of the expected rise in the number of air travelers all over the globe.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:34 AM   #582
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VOR fixed, But no ILS yet
By Recto Mercene
July 8, 2010


Manila - THE crucial navigational aid VOR (VHF Omnidirectional range) was put back on the air at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, 17 days after it conked out due to wear and tear.

The announcement was broadcast worldwide to all major airports via the Notice-to-airmen (Notam) by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap).

“The VOR of the airport navigational facilities is now serviceable,” said Caap Director General Alfonso Cusi at a press conference.


He said the Navaid was flight-tested from 7 to 9 a.m. by a Beechcraft “King Air” B200, flying around the airport above the VOR at 2,000 feet, checking every 10 degrees the accuracy of the signal.

Capt. Gilbert Bautista, a veteran pilot of the King Air Beechcraft, did the flight-checking, assisted by five other technical experts, Cusi said.

With the VOR’s restoration, airplanes on instrument flight would be able to come near and make an attempt to land on runway 24 at a minimum altitude of 500 feet and visibility at 3 to 4 kilometers before seeing the runway.

If using runway 06, a pilot could fly as low as 400 feet and as near the runway as 3 to 4 km to be able to see the runway; otherwise, the pilot aborts his landing and makes another try.

Cusi said that since the VOR was switched on, 75 domestic and international flights were able to land safely, from 11 a.m. until 1:45 p.m.

The VOR conked out after 14 years of continuous service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It has a shelf life of 15 years. That, coupled with the poor to zero visibility alternately caused by thunderstorms and a haze, had caused some flights to be delayed, canceled or diverted to Clark airport.

After weeks of on-off operations, with the equipment undergoing repairs with parts cannibalized from the Subic VOR, a team of European experts flew into Manila last week, bringing with them the parts purchased in Germany.

Five European engineers were invited by the Caap to look into the VOR problem, and also to replace the defective parts.

Cusi said that even if the VOR malfunctions again, the Caap has in place the Required Area Navigation (RNAV) system, a satellite-based means of navigating and landing that is more accurate than the VOR.

He said the RNAV’s activation had already been broadcast worldwide via the Notam, and that local air carriers have been advised to adjust the compatible equipment aboard their planes to be able to carry out navigation and landing procedures safely.

According to Cusi, the Caap is requesting for a new VOR replacement as soon as possible so that in case of a breakdown, there would be more than one navigational aid that could back up the RNAV.

He said the instrument landing system (ILS) would be installed and ready for use by end-July.

At the same time, Cusi said Caap will bill the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) for the expenses incurred in flight checking, calibrating and repairing the VOR.

“We have to bill the Miaa since the Caap is already a government-owned and -controlled corporation,” he added, saying that one of the functions of the new aviation body is to raise revenues to fund its operations, secure more money to pay its technical experts and thousands of employees.

Cusi ordered the chief of the Air Traffic Service and the Air Navigational Service to activate all the other RNAVs in the Philippines located in Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Clark and Subic.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:40 AM   #583
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Presidential sisters refuse VIP assistance at NAIA
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MANILA, Philippines - Taking their cue from their brother, presidential sisters Ballsy Cruz and Pinky Abellada, along with other relatives, eschewed VIP treatment and insisted on being treated as ordinary passengers at the airport.

Cruz and Abellada, sisters of President Aquino, fell in line at the departure area even after airport and immigration officials recognized them and offered their assistance.


The two Aquino sisters and their cousins were passengers on a flight for Hong Kong at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on Wednesday.

They were spotted by immigration officers Tonji Maceda, Carlo Salazar and duty supervisor Ynn Pelia falling in line at the departure immigration counter.

Maceda and Salazar approached Cruz and Abellada introduced themselves as duty immigration officers.

They offered to help with immediate stamping of their passports but the Aquino sisters refused to be treated as VIPs.

Nonetheless, they thanked Maceda and Salazar and told them that they would just fall in line, like the rest of the passengers.

According to Maceda, the two sisters also insisted on removing their shoes at the final security check even though police security personnel manning the X-ray machine told them it was not necessary for them to do so.

“We created the rules and we must obey the rules,” Cruz told the policemen.

Sources said the sisters even prevented airport policemen from assisting them as they alighted from their vehicles.

The Aquino sisters and their two cousins arrived at NAIA more than two hours before their 4:30 p.m. flight without any security detail, airport sources said.

Kris Aquino-Yap, on the other hand, is reportedly scheduled to fly to the US on a Philippine Airlines flight tonight with youngest son Baby James.

After President Aquino’s campaign against indiscriminate use of sirens and blinkers, policemen detailed at the airport said it has been relatively quiet and peaceful.

“The streets leading to the airport seemed quieter, with no sirens from the vehicles of VIPs,” one police officer said.

He said that they had been used to hearing sirens wailing and seeing the counter flow of VIP vehicles in a mad scramble to the airport.

“Now those are things of the past. We are now all equal,” the police officer said.

President Aquino, on the other hand, called on airport officials to fast-track the repair of the facilities at the NAIA.

Mr. Aquino said he would leave it up to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to come up with ways and means to implement immediate repairs on the country’s premiere international gateway that bore the name of his martyred father.

Mr. Aquino noted the deteriorating conditions of the facilities at the NAIA that led to its ratings downgrade for failing to meet international airport safety standards.

The President appointed Jose Angel Honrado to head the MIAA on the expectation that the retired Air Force general would be able to do something about the navigational equipment problems at the NAIA.

Honrado was sworn in by Mr. Aquino yesterday along with 10 other appointees.

“The CAAP was given powers to bring back the state of our airports to the right level so that we can fly to other countries and we won’t be downgraded,” he said.

Mr. Aquino lamented the dismal state of the NAIA, saying these problems could have been prevented had the previous administration acted judiciously.

The NAIA’s Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Radio Range (DVOR), which helps pilots take off or land during nighttime, low visibility and bad weather, broke down last July 4.

This caused the disruption and delay in the departure and arrival of international and domestic flights.

The President claimed he had received a report two years ago on the possibility of the NAIA’s age-old navigational equipment conking out anytime because of wear and tear.

He lamented the previous administration neglected the report and only began looking for suppliers at the last minute when it became apparent that the facility was about to break down.

“I’m not happy, obviously, with what they have done... why did they allow the problem to worsen before they acted?” he asked.

In November 2007, the Philippine aviation sector was accorded a Category 2 rating by the US Federal Aviation Authority, resulting in the suspension of flights by Philippine carriers into the United States.

As a result of the ratings downgrade, the European Union’s air safety committee in April banned Philippine flag carriers from flying to Europe and even discouraged Europeans from traveling on Philippine airlines.

Mr. Aquino said he is still awaiting the complete report on how to improve the airport and its facilities.

“They are discussing four types of navigation equipment, (Transportation and Communications) Secretary (Jose) de Jesus (and) I were told that the equipment bogging down now has a life span of 15 years, this is supposed to be the 14th year and they’re just starting to find out which country can supply us,” Mr. Aquino said.

He said it was unfortunate that after the downgrade, several safety issues also came up.

“We might suffer more downgrade. This is an area of particular concern,” the President said.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:45 AM   #584
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Rush repairs of navigational equipment at NAIA — Aquino

07/09/2010

President Aquino wants repairs on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s navigational equipment fast-tracked to prevent foreign governments and international aviation organizations from issuing another downgrade rating on NAIA for failing to satisfy international airport safety standards.


At a press briefing in Malacañang last Wednesday, President Aquino said he was leaving up to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to come up with ways and means to implement immediate repairs on the country’s premier international gateway.


President Aquino appointed retired Maj. Gen. Jose Angel Honrado of the Philippine Air Force to head the MIAA with hopes that he, together with the CAAP, will be able to do something about the navigational equipment problems.


“Yung CAAP, binigyan ng mga kapangyarihan para maibalik yung estado ng ating mga paliparan sa tamang baytang para naman makakalipad tayo sa ibang mga bansa at hindi tayo ma-downgrade (The CAAP was given the authority to restore our airports in the right state so that we can fly to other nations and avoid being downgraded),” he said.


The President lamented the dismal state of the NAIA, saying these problems could have been prevented had the previous administration acted promptly.


The NAIA’s Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Radio Range, which helps pilots take off or land during nighttime, low visibility and bad weather, broke down last July 4 which caused the disruption and delay in the departure and arrival of international and domestic flights.


President Aquino said he had received a report two years ago on the possibility of the NAIA’s navigational equipment conking out anytime due to old-age and the usual wear and tear of equipment.


But, he added, instead of acting on it upon receipt of the report, the former administration only began looking for suppliers at the last minute.


“I’m not happy, obviously, with what they have done,” the President said. “Bakit pinabayaan na sobrang problema muna bago kumilos? (Why they allowed the problem to worsen before they acted on it?),” he said.


In November 2007, the Philippine aviation sector was accorded a Category 2 rating by the United States Federal Aviation Authority, resulting in the suspension of flights by Philippine carriers into the United States.


As a result of this downgrade, the European Union’s air safety committee, last April forbade Philippine planes from traveling to Europe and discouraged Europeans from traveling on Philippine airlines. PNA
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:49 AM   #585
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Firm developing subdivision in front of Davao int’l airport

DAVAO CITY -- Homegrown BDA Holiday Prime Properties, Inc. is developing 4.7-hectare residential project in front of the Davao International Airport.

Wally A. Alvarez, part owner of the firm, said the Orchid Hill Subdivision will feature 156 housing units whose prices per unit would range from P3.5 million to P4 million.

Mr. Alvarez said the project will have a commercial section since it is very near the airport and one of the big schools in the city, Jose Maria College of televangelist Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name church. “We hope to maximize the use of the property because it has good location,” he said.

The company, which is partly-owned by the Bangayan family, one of the prominent property developers in the city, has already started development of the project, said Mr. Alvarez.

“We are hoping to start construction of the houses before the end of the third quarter of the year,” Mr. Alvarez told BusinessWorld, noting the smallest unit will have a total land area of 180 square meters.

He added the company is looking at local buyers as well as Filipino workers abroad as key markets for the project. “There are already inquiries, but we are not into preselling just yet. We want to put everything in place before we start the preselling,” he said. Some of the inquiries came from relatives of families working abroad, he said.

This confirms expectations from the construction industry that overseas Filipinos will remain the driver of residential construction this year. Manolito P. Madrasto, executive director of the Philippine Constructors Association, said the construction industry is expected to register a 7% growth, mainly due to demand from overseas Filipinos.

Mr. Madrasto said overseas workers and their families consider housing a top priority. This is a “change in paradigm” because in the past, money sent back to the families was often used to buy consumer goods or pay for school tuition.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #586
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Mactan-Cebu International Airport

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Originally Posted by zidlakan View Post
taken at pre-departure gate 2, internation, right wing, 26 june 2010.















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Old July 10th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #587
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Dirty zone, Don't you think?
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Old July 11th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #588
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San Miguel Corp. keen on acquiring majority stake in PAL
By Ma Elisa P. Osorio (The Philippine Star) Updated July 09, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Diversifying conglome-rate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has expressed inte-rest in acquiring a controlling stake in flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) from the Lucio Tan Group.

In an interview with reporters Wednesday evening, SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said, however, that they will only buy PAL if they can get at least 51 percent.


“We need to at least get 51 percent so that we are the majority. If not, then what is it for,” he said.

However, Ang said he expects Tan to sell PAL only to foreign companies. “It’s a pride thing. They will not sell to local companies. They will sell to a foreigner but not to locals.” Early this year, Tan surrendered control of his cigarette company Fortune Tobacco to Philip Morris.

When asked if they can make PAL more profitable, Ang said “the airline business is a very simple business,” adding they will definitely make more money for PAL.

In the same event, PAL president Jaime Bautista pointed out they have not yet discussed any plans of selling the flag carrier. “That matter has never been discussed in our meetings.”

Bautista noted that the airline is doing well and they are looking forward to a good year due to the opening of new flights.

But a source from PAL said a number of companies have been doing due diligence on the firm but the case between PAL and its workers have delayed the proceedings. The source noted that some companies are waiting for the final resolution of the labor problem. The source said although there are a number of firms that have expressed interest in buying PAL, they have been approaching the wrong people.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 06:16 AM   #589
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61r5R...eature=related
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:15 AM   #590
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Philippine Airlines labor tiff: a litmus test for Aquino
abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 07/11/2010 2:41 PM | Updated as of 07/11/2010 4:31 PM


MANILA, Philippines - Labor groups said the resolution of the ongoing labor dispute between the management and employees of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) will be a litmus test for the Aquino administration.

In particular, labor organizations are keenly watching how the new administration will address their long-standing demand for the government to eliminate the contractualization of labor.

Gerry Rivera, president of the PAL Employees Association or PALEA said they welcomed Aquino's order for the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to review and evaluate its "midnight decision" on the airline labor problem.

PALEA is fighting the DoLE's decision issued shortly before the new government took over, to allow the airline management to outsoure three of its critical operations.

PALEA said this is tantamount to the mass layoff of some 3,000 PAL employees. The management of PAL said outsourcing its operations is necessary to stave off more losses for the airline.

On June 15, DoLE Acting Secretary Romeo Lagman said the outsourcing of PAL's operations are a "valid exercise of management prerogative."

Rivera said more than half of the PAL workforce will be retrenched and the local airline industry will be affected.

"The PAL dispute will not only be a litmus test of the Aquino government’s handling of labor management relations. It will also be an acid test of the task of cleansing the DoLE of corrupt officials and reforming the policy on labor contractualization," said Rivera.

Renato Magtubo, chairperson of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), said "the epidemic of contractualization is a result of failure in both policy and enforcement."

"There are glaring loopholes in the law that have been abused by employers to wipe out regular jobs and replace them with contractual workers that have less in wages and benefits and enjoy no security of tenure."

Management is allowed by law to contract out jobs that are necessary and desirable to the business of the company.

But labor groups said this has been interpreted to mean that practically all jobs can be outsourced, not just janitorial or security services.

"Thus, you find factories and malls in which contractual workers outnumber regular workers several times over while all do the same job,” said Magtubo.

The PAL tiff between management and labor prompted labor groups to press Aquino to certify a set of pro-labor reform bills as urgent in his state of the nation address.

Various labor groups are mobilizing their ranks that will join rallies in the SONA on July 30. These include the Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon ng Pilipinas, PM, Makabayan, Alliance of Progressive Labor, United Filipino Service Workers, Alliance of Genuine Labor Organizations, United Cavite Workers Association, Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Paranaque, Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Antipolo and the former union of PNCC employees. - By Rocel Felix, abs-cbnNews.com
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:27 AM   #591
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CEB expects 3 brand new planes this year
philstar

MANILA, Philippines - Cebu Pacific (CEB) expects delivery of three more brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft during the last quarter of this year as part of its expansion plan that will enable it to increase frequencies to several domestic and international flights.

Because of this, CEB offers a 50 percent off system-wide seat sale to any of its 33 domestic and 16 international destinations from July 10-12, 2010, for travel from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, 2010.

This includes flights to Brunei, Beijing, Osaka, Seoul (Incheon), Busan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Taipei, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

Domestic flights on 50 percent off sale include flights from Manila to Boracay (Caticlan), Cauayan, Tuguegarao, Laoag, Coron (Busuanga), Dumaguete, Cebu, Surigao and Pagadian, as well as flights from Cebu to Dipolog, Bacolod, Iloilo and Butuan. CEB also has direct flights from Davao to Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro and Cebu.

This seat sale is meant to push the airline’s additional domestic and international flights. Starting Oct. 27, 2010, CEB will increase frequencies from Manila to Cagayan de Oro (six times daily), Zamboanga (thrice daily), Pagadian (five times weekly), Davao (six times daily), Tagbilaran (twice daily), Coron (12 times weekly) and Kalibo (16 times weekly).

On Nov. 24, 2010, the following flights will also have increased frequencies: Manila-Boracay (79 times weekly), Manila-Cebu (13 times daily), Cebu-Boracay (twice daily), Cebu-General Santos (daily), Cebu-Puerto Princesa (daily), and Cebu-Bacolod (twice daily). The Cebu-Zamboanga and Davao-Zamboanga routes will also be upgraded from an ATR72-500 to an Airbus A319, increasing capacity for its daily flights.

Meanwhile, Taipei flights will become daily starting Oct. 31, 2010, and Jakarta flights will be four times weekly starting Dec. 19, 2010. Seoul (Incheon) flights will be twice daily starting Jan. 24, 2011.

“We encourage every Juan to take advantage of our additional flights and 50 percent off system-wide seat sale to explore different local and international destinations,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.

“The frequency increases are part of our expansion plan, as we expect delivery of three brand-new Airbus A320 during the last quarter of this year. We are very excited and look forward to offering more high quality travel products to our guests,” she added.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:30 AM   #592
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Time to move

Editorial Desk
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Publication Date: 10-07-2010


For many years and for many reasons, government officials have been talking about moving the country’s principal international airport out of Metro Manila. One reason is the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for which there is no practicable solution, given the small area on which it sits and its location in the heart of the metropolis. Another is the danger it poses to both passengers and residents because of its proximity to heavily populated subdivisions as well as the Southern Luzon Expressway. Now a third major reason can be added, which is air pollution.

On Saturday last week, 38 domestic and international flights had to be diverted to other airports as smog blanketed the area around the airport, causing thousands of passengers to miss appointments and connecting flights, among other inconveniences. Weathermen said a high-pressure weather system trapped the surface air which was thick with smoke, moisture and pollution. “The haze was thick and there was no breeze to clear the sky,” an official of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said.

But it wasn’t all because of the smog. The same CAAP official admitted that another reason was the breakdown of a navigational equipment that guides landing and takeoff at night or in bad weather when the visibility is poor. In fact, two weeks earlier 65 flights at the Naia were canceled and five were diverted to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) at the Clark Freeport in Pampanga after the 14-year-old navigational equipment (called DVOR) at the Naia, which was already due for replacement, conked out. Nine days later, 30 incoming flights had to be diverted to Clark or Cebu even as airport authorities debated whether to buy immediately a new DVOR, estimated to cost 120 million pesos, or to toss the decision to the new administration. In the meantime, a different kind of equipment (called RNAV-GPS) was brought in, necessitating an adjustment in aircraft settings and new certification for pilots. When the haze descended at the Naia last Saturday, all aircraft flown by pilots who had not yet been certified for the airport’s new navigation system were diverted to other airports. It was the first time that flights to Naia were diverted on account of heavy air pollution.

And it will not be the last time—if it was really caused by smog and not the smugness of airport authorities. The heavy pollution in the metropolis is not about to dissipate any time soon. The growing population, the rising number of motor vehicles, the indifference of citizens and the inaction of public officials guarantee that. If the gateway to the country is to stop being a national embarrassment and hazard, it has to be moved somewhere else.

Although it may look a bit ironic, the logical alternative to Naia is DMIA. The old Clark Air Base already has a precision-approach runway and emergency services that have passed the safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and modern navigational aids and lighting system. It has more than enough space for another runway. All it needs is a terminal that can handle the volume of passengers now going through the Naia as well as the expected increase in the coming years.

There is an executive order, signed by President Fidel Ramos in 1994, designating Clark as the primary international gateway to the country and directing the Bases Conversion Development Authority to come up with a master plan for a modern airport. In 2008, then President Gloria Arroyo ordered the transportation and communication department to convert the DMIA into the country’s premier airport. Nothing came of those orders except the opening of the DMIA as an alternate international airport.

The recent flight diversions should prod the Aquino administration to finally put those plans into action. If financing is the problem, the private sector is willing to put up the money. Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and San Miguel Corp. have confirmed their plan to join hands in building a modern passenger terminal at the DMIA at a cost of 7 billion pesos. The plan also includes the construction of an 80-kilometre high-speed railway that will connect the airport to Metro Manila. The government should now invite these two prospective partners to discuss their proposal and determine how it can help them see this urgent project through.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #593
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New navigational device to be installed at NAIA
By Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) Updated July 12, 2010 12:00 AM



A navigational device that officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been waiting for since May arrived last night from Europe, an official said yesterday.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #594
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Luggage protection system now in RP
(The Philippine Star) Updated July 12, 2010 12:00 AM



MANILA, Philippines - Traveling captures the soul and leaves you breathless for more. But as you wait in the carousel for your luggage, eager to start your adventure, you realize that the mess of a bag that has been slashed ripped and is virtually unrecognizable is yours. The good news: There is a way to protect your luggage. Protectabag is an international luggage wrapping service that is now available in the Philippines.


Protectabag exclusively brings to travelers this luggage protection system that is proven to be an effective and low cost method of ensuring that your belongings arrive untouched at your destination. “Security in travel is the farthest thing in mind when packing for a trip. But as the frequent flyer knows, this neglected priority should be top of the list,” according to Joy Manalo, general manager of Protectabag Philippines. Theft is a common travel concern that leaves the traveler feeling victimized and valuables gone missing.


In some extreme cases, drugs or other items deemed illegal by law are inserted in the luggage. “Protectabag luggage wrapping offers you added security simply by making your bag less accessible and less vulnerable to criminals,” Manalo said. The company is a franchise of Protectabag Australia and was brought to the Philippines in 2007.

The c
ost of wrapping is only P160. Protectabag wraps suitcases, backpacks, balikbayan boxes, carry bags, golf clubs, baby buggies, and even baby car seats.


Protectabag booths are located at the following NAIA locations: Terminal 1 -departure area near check-in counter 1; Terminal 2 – departure area beside travel tax counter; north wing Terminal 3 – departure area beside travel tax counter. For inquiries, call (632) 8874145 or (062) 8874757 loc 102.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #595
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Check delivered to Roa: MCIAA ignores Ombudsman order
By Rene U. Borromeo (The Freeman) Updated July 12, 2010 12:00 AM

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx...CategoryId=107

CEBU, Philippines - The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority pushed through with the granting of the P500,000 severance pay to former tourism regional director Patria Aurora Roa despite a verbal order from the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas stopping such release as it is still determining its legality.


MCIAA board secretary Evelyn Ramirez admitted that she claimed the check from the cashiering division shortly before 5 p.m. last Friday and immediately delivered it to Roa’s house.

“Tua na kang Roa ang tseke ako dayon nga gihatag niya,” Ramirez told The FREEMAN yesterday afternoon. According to her, she had no idea about any order from the Ombudsman stopping the release of the check.

During its executive session last April 15, the MCIAA board passed a resolution granting the benefits to Roa in recognition of her exemplary services as member of the board.

But on Friday morning, Assistant Ombudsman Virginia Palanca Santiago told MCIAA officials, through legal officer Glen Napuli, not to release the check pending the result of the inquiry to be conducted by the anti-graft body and the Commission on Audit.

Santiago had advised Napuli to inform airport manager Danilo Augusto Francia about her order.

The Ombudsman and COA are looking into the legality of Roa’s severance pay amid complaints raised by some MCIAA personnel questioning such grant considering that she was not officially connected with the MCIAA.

Santiago, however, did not insist on her order to delay the release of check, saying “sige na lang wala man gud dayon nato sila mapadad-i og formal communication.”

But she assured that they will pursue the investigation, saying if proven that the release of the retirement benefits to Roa has no basis, proper charges will be filed against those involved.

A few years ago, the MCIAA also granted “severance pay” to one of its directors when he retired as undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication.

But such expenditure was disallowed by the COA, which then demanded a refund from MCIAA.

Some airport employees expressed their disappointment over the move of the MCIAA officials, and on how the airport is being run.

“Walay uwaw ning mga tawhana. Maayo unta og mailisan kini sila kay aron matarong na ang pagdumala dinhi sa airport,” one of the personnel told The FREEMAN in a telephone interview.

Another employee, who also asked not to be named, said: “To me, that sounds like theft. They have lost all sense of decency and morality. Their wanton disregard of delicadeza is appalling, especially at a time when the new president is calling on the Filipino people to sacrifice for our country.”

“They choose to be so shameless and arrogant in enriching themselves at the expense of the public is sickening. Clearly, these officials dont deserve to remain in their posts a day longer. Otherwise, MCIAA’s coffers will be emptied by their greed. President Aquino should replace them all at once and the Ombudsman must prosecute them to the full extent of the law,” another angry employee said.

As a member of the MCIAA board, Roa received P30,000 monthly for her attendance in two board meetings.

The FREEMAN tried to get the reaction of airport manager Danilo Augusto Francia on the latest development but got no response.

Earlier, Santiago explained that her order to delay the release of the check does not mean that it will be held forever.

“Kon ihatag gud nato dayon ang tseke unya moingon ang COA nga illegal ang paghatag niini lisud na g’yud kaayo ang pagbawi,” Santiago said.

Francia earlier insisted that the granting of such benefit to Roa is aboveboard. He said under the law, the MCIAA has the power to grant retirement benefits to its employees, including the members of the board.

But former tourism undersecretary Phineas Alburo, who used to be an alternate-member of the MCIAA board before Roa, said the members of the board are not entitled to retirement grants because they already have such benefits from their own agencies.

The FREEMAN tried several times to contact Roa but she could not be reached for her comments. — /WAB (FREEMAN NEWS)
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Old July 14th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #596
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ILS finally!
July 12, 2010

The new Cat III 420 Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) and a Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) intended for runway 24 of Manila International Airport finally arrived Sunday night after two months of delay.
The new ILS was ferried on an Emirates Airlines flight from France and costs $2.4 million (US) from Thales ATM, a French based aerospace company.


The instrument should have been installed last May 29 to replace one that went out of commission a year ago but because of the closure of European Airspace there were delays on cargo shipment from the continent.
Had they been installed on time, they could have prevented the repeated closure of Manila airport due to bad weather.

“The ILS was late in coming because the European airspace was closed for weeks during the eruption of Iceland volcano, cutting off all European flights to Manila,” Manila International Airport Authority chief Melvin Matibag had explained prior to his replacement on July 9.

Matibag was replaced by retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Jose Angel Honrado, who took over the post Friday.

Thales Philippines, a local subsidiary, said that it would take at least four weeks for the contractor to install and calibrate the ILS.

"They would be installed by Integrated Energy Systems & Resources, Inc., in cooperation with Thales ATM Project Engineers" Thales statement said.

Asia- Pacific countries utilizing Thales equipment include: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Laos, Macau SAR, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #597
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianers_ianized View Post
Promotional Ad of PAL flying to Riyadh
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Old July 14th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #598
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianers_ianized View Post
Promotional Ad of PAL flying to Brisbane
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Old July 14th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #599
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10 passengers and crew hurt as Gulf Air flight to Philippines hits turbulence

Three cabin crew and seven passengers suffered contusions when the plane flying from Bahrain encountered severe air pockets

Manila: A Manila airport official said that 10 passengers and crew on a Gulf Air flight to the Philippines were injured when the plane was hit by turbulence.

Airport operations manager Octavio Lina said on Tuesday that three cabin crew and seven passengers suffered contusions when the Airbus 330 flying from Bahrain encountered severe air pockets over Vietnam before dawn on Monday.

He said nine of those hurt were immediately brought to a hospital for treatment.

A hospital staff member said two female crew members were thrown off their seats and landed on their backs. He said the others suffered bumps on the heads.

A Gulf Air spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
http://gulfnews.com/news/world/phili...lence-1.653655
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Old July 18th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #600
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Int’l airline firms pick RP’s state-of-the-art repair facility
By ANJO PEREZ
July 17, 2010, 9:11pm

The Philippines is now the country of choice for airline companies requiring expertise in aircraft maintenance, repairs, and overhaul, as it provides quicker turnaround at much lower costs.

Lufthansa Techniks Philippines (LTP), a state-of-the-art aircraft “maintenance, repair and overhaul” (MRO) center has overtaken its much bigger competitors in Hong Kong and Singapore in terms of confidence and preference by international airline companies.

The world-class facility, which sits at the eastern end of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s main runway, is run by 2,700 locally trained Filipino aircraft mechanics. The maintenance center has five service bays that can accommodate various sizes of aircraft that need to undergo the required heavy maintenance or overhaul procedures at any given time.

The transfer of technology from its German partner to the Filipino mechanics has also armed LTP with the much-needed tooling and expertise in performing specialized maintenance procedures for the Airbus Industrie airplanes.

With their extensive tooling and expertise on Airbus airplanes, LTP has been rated as one of the best MROs in the region resulting in being the choice of more than 23 airline companies, including Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific, Air Asia, Qantas Airlines, and flag carrier Philippine Airlines.

The expertise of the Filipino aircraft mechanics on Airbus Industrie airplanes has resulted in quick turn-around times for heavy maintenance procedures.

LTP Vice President for Marketing and Sales Dominik Weiner-Silva said their mechanics can usually perform a complete “heavy-maintenance procedure” or “D-check” on an Airbus Industrie aircraft in 25 days – five days less than the 30-day industry standard.

“A faster turn-around time means more money for the airline company,” Weiner-Silva said.

Aside from the technical competence of our mechanics, our competitive cost is also a big factor why airline companies choose us over other MROs in the region,” Weiner-Silva explained.

Weiner-Silva said the Philippines is now on the global aviation map as a prime source of MRO services. “We now belong to the ‘first league’ of approved MROs worldwide putting the country in the global aviation map.

“Because we are recognized worldwide, we help put the Philippines in the global aviation map as a source of top MRO services and we take pride in our Filipino workers who are now sought internationally for their world- class expertise,” Weiner-Silva said.

“Filipinos are passionate, hardworking, and very talented; that is why it is not uncommon to find them in other country as trainers now whereas they were trainees not too long ago,” Weiner-Silva added.

Weiner-Silva noted that aside from being a member of the pioneer league of approved MROs, LTP also enjoys the approval from major airworthiness authorities such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Agency of the USA, which he said, enables LTP to compete globally.
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