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Old October 17th, 2010, 04:02 AM   #781
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PAL streamlines Australian operations

PAL streamlines Australian operations

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Airlines (PAL) is realigning its Australian operations starting with the temporary suspension of flights to and from Brisbane effective October 31, 2010.

Consequently, the flag carrier’s five times a week flights to Melbourne will be adjusted to thrice weekly, while flights to Sydney—one of PAL’s most popular Australian destinations—remains unaffected with five times weekly services, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.

In a news release, Villaluna said the decision to temporarily halt Brisbane services was due to marketing considerations.

Passengers to be affected by the flight realignments shall be properly notified by PAL’s contact center and advised on the best options to proceed to their respective destinations, she said.

Villaluna stressed that Australia remains an important market for Philippine Airlines. Recognizing the route’s growth potential, she reiterated PAL’s long-term commitment to the island-continent.

She stressed, however, that market conditions and the onset of the lean season necessitated some changes in the number of destinations and frequency of flights the flag carrier mounts to Australia.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 08:13 AM   #782
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KLM reconsidering RP operations due to tax row

by Jessica Anne D. Hermosa, BusinessWorld 10/18/2010

MANILA, Philippines - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the sole carrier that operates long haul flights between Manila and Europe, said it may halt its Philippine operations due to local tax policies.

This comes as the government has continued to slap taxes on outbound passenger and cargo revenues of several foreign airlines whether or not the tickets were sold in the country, the KLM’s regional manager Cees Ursem told BusinessWorld last week.

If so tourism will suffer, as will trade and investment prospects, as travellers to and from Europe will have no choice but to resort to costlier and inconvenient connecting flights, an official of the European business chamber said.

"We are reconsidering our operations to Manila," Mr. Ursem said in a chance interview.

"Tax issues are hurting the airlines dramatically," he added, citing the common carrier tax and gross Philippine billings.

Under the National Internal Revenue Code, international air carriers must pay a common carrier tax of 3% of their gross receipts and a 2.5% tax on all cargo and passenger revenues "originating from the Philippines in an uninterrupted flight irrespective of the place of sale or issue ... of the ticket".

The Philippines is the only country that charges airlines these taxes, Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim said at last week’s Philippine Business Conference where he tagged the policy a bottleneck to development.

Lifting the taxes could increase international tourist arrivals by 2.2% and generate economic benefits worth $38-78 million, the International Air Transport Association said in a March report.

KLM has been urging officials to nix the tax. In the meantime it has reduced the seating capacity of its Philippine flights since January, Mr. Ursem said.

German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG stopped offering its Manila-Frankfurt connection in April 2008 because of lower commercial yields and has reallocated capacity to other Asian gateways.

"We are trying to be in touch with the government. It’s positive," Mr. Ursem said.

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) was more downbeat, claiming that even the new administration has been slow to address the matter.

"[Former] Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves said we were barking up the wrong tree and that we had to go through legislation instead. We have the same problem with this administration," ECCP Executive Vice-President Henry J. Schumacher said in a telephone interview last Friday.

"Legislation would be a long route and there has been no indication that [the government] will make [this issue] a priority," Mr. Schumacher said.

Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares declined to comment, saying in a text message the issue "needs to be studied."

Rep. Hermilando I. Mandanas (Batangas, 2nd district), chairman of the House of Representatives ways and means committee, said he would be filing a bill to exempt foreign airlines from such taxes.

But with Congress currently on a break and expected to focus on approving the 2011 budget when they next meet, progress will likely be slow, he admitted.

In the meantime, said Mr. Schumacher, there is "frustration all over."

Tourism will only flourish if people can fly here. [Losing KLM] would be big blow as it’s the only airline that flies nonstop to Amsterdam," he said.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #783
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffarambo1 View Post
KLM reconsidering RP operations due to tax row

by Jessica Anne D. Hermosa, BusinessWorld 10/18/2010

MANILA, Philippines - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the sole carrier that operates long haul flights between Manila and Europe, said it may halt its Philippine operations due to local tax policies.

This comes as the government has continued to slap taxes on outbound passenger and cargo revenues of several foreign airlines whether or not the tickets were sold in the country, the KLM’s regional manager Cees Ursem told BusinessWorld last week.

If so tourism will suffer, as will trade and investment prospects, as travellers to and from Europe will have no choice but to resort to costlier and inconvenient connecting flights, an official of the European business chamber said.

"We are reconsidering our operations to Manila," Mr. Ursem said in a chance interview.

"Tax issues are hurting the airlines dramatically," he added, citing the common carrier tax and gross Philippine billings.

Under the National Internal Revenue Code, international air carriers must pay a common carrier tax of 3% of their gross receipts and a 2.5% tax on all cargo and passenger revenues "originating from the Philippines in an uninterrupted flight irrespective of the place of sale or issue ... of the ticket".

The Philippines is the only country that charges airlines these taxes, Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim said at last week’s Philippine Business Conference where he tagged the policy a bottleneck to development.

Lifting the taxes could increase international tourist arrivals by 2.2% and generate economic benefits worth $38-78 million, the International Air Transport Association said in a March report.

KLM has been urging officials to nix the tax. In the meantime it has reduced the seating capacity of its Philippine flights since January, Mr. Ursem said.

German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG stopped offering its Manila-Frankfurt connection in April 2008 because of lower commercial yields and has reallocated capacity to other Asian gateways.

"We are trying to be in touch with the government. It’s positive," Mr. Ursem said.

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) was more downbeat, claiming that even the new administration has been slow to address the matter.

"[Former] Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves said we were barking up the wrong tree and that we had to go through legislation instead. We have the same problem with this administration," ECCP Executive Vice-President Henry J. Schumacher said in a telephone interview last Friday.

"Legislation would be a long route and there has been no indication that [the government] will make [this issue] a priority," Mr. Schumacher said.

Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares declined to comment, saying in a text message the issue "needs to be studied."

Rep. Hermilando I. Mandanas (Batangas, 2nd district), chairman of the House of Representatives ways and means committee, said he would be filing a bill to exempt foreign airlines from such taxes.

But with Congress currently on a break and expected to focus on approving the 2011 budget when they next meet, progress will likely be slow, he admitted.

In the meantime, said Mr. Schumacher, there is "frustration all over."

Tourism will only flourish if people can fly here. [Losing KLM] would be big blow as it’s the only airline that flies nonstop to Amsterdam," he said.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 05:27 AM   #784
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Philippine Stewardess
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not a philippine stewardess nor is it a philippine carrier... it's chinese. the logo on the passenger seat! get it right!
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Originally Posted by twIco View Post
and also the outfit of the stewardess is much different from philippine airlines.
To make it clear: the photo is of an FA from China Southern Airlines (CZ).
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Old October 20th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #785
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Passenger commits suicide in Gulf Air flight to Manila

By Thea Alberto



A passenger has committed suicide inside a Gulf Air plane that landed in Manila Wednesday, a police official said.

The passenger, identified as Marlon Cueva, 36, and a Filipino overseas worker, was found dead inside the Gulf Air plane’s comfort room, said Senior Superintendent Napoleon Cuaton, Pasay City Chief of Police.

Cueva, an electrician working abroad for over a year, was on board Gulf Air’s Flight 154 from Bahrain. It was a connecting flight to Manila from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Police quoted other passengers as saying that Cueva was already uneasy before take-off during their Bahrain connecting flight.

“Hindi daw mapakali, umiikot ikot sa eroplano at nagsasabing ‘patawarin ako at marami akong kasalanan’,” Cuaton told Yahoo! Southeast Asia in a phone interview.

Passengers said that Cueva did not elaborate on his “sins,” Cuaton said.

Gulf Air crew then asked Cueva to take a seat, although he continued rambling almost all throughout the flight.

It was minutes before the plane landed when the crew noticed Cueva wasn’t in his seat and was later found inside the plane’s comfort room, said Cuaton.

“Nakita siya may tali sa leeg nakaupo sa lavatory mismo,” Cuaton added.

A nurse on board volunteered to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to Cueva but was unable to revive the victim.

Police were not looking at foul play in Cueva’s death.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 08:57 AM   #786
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Source:http://sg.news.yahoo.com/ap/20101020...d-ef384bd.html

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Filipino passenger found dead in plane toilet
AP - Wednesday, October 20

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino passenger was found dead Wednesday in the toilet of a plane in which he was flying home from the Middle East and police are investigating whether it was a suicide, officials said.

Gulf Air flight attendants found the man, a cord tied around his neck, as they made last-minute checks before landing in Manila from Bahrain. Crew members and a nurse were unable to revive him, Manila airport officials said.

The 36-year-old man, who died on board Gulf Air flight 154, appeared restless during the flight, police said, citing witnesses.

It was the same Gulf Air flight on which a returning Filipino maid delivered a baby in September. The baby was later found abandoned in the plane's toilet trash bin and saved by airport doctors.

The man had worked for three months as an electrician in Abu Dhabi, and his wife and relatives had traveled to the airport Wednesday to welcome him back, Manila airport manager Octavio Lina said.

"It was difficult to break the news to his family," Lina said, adding that police were investigating the man's background.

Gulf Air said the man was found unconscious in one of the bathrooms about 15 minutes before landing.

"CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) was administered immediately by the cabin crew and continued until the aircraft landed at Manila International Airport where he was pronounced dead by medical authorities," it said in a statement.

The baby abandoned in September was turned over to social workers. Police later found the mother, who told authorities she abandoned him because she feared how her husband and family would react.

She said she had been raped by her Middle Eastern employer, and his wife had forced her to return home, officials said. Her story focused public attention on the plight of many overseas Filipinos laborers.

About one in 10 Filipinos works abroad, many as maids and laborers in the Middle East, to escape crushing poverty and unemployment at home.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #787
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RBA, Philippine Airlines End Code Share Agreement

RBA, Philippine Airlines End Code Share Agreement



Bandar Seri Begawan - Beginning October 31, 2010; Royal Brunei Airlines and Philippine Airlines will be ending their code share agreement and the last code share flight will take off October 30.

Royal Brunei Airlines has decreased flights to seven times weekly while still maintaining daily service from Bandar Seri Begawan to Manila, a press release said Raiz Moiz, RBA Executive Vice President of Commercial and Planning, said, "Although both carriers have mutually agreed to end the code share arrangement, we still look forward to working with Philippine Airlines in the future and we wish them great success in their future endeavours."

For further enquiries of how this may affect current bookings, passenger may contact their local Royal Brunei Airline offices.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific (CEB) began flying to Brunei Darussalam from August 21 this year and operates twice-weekly service between Manila and Bandar Seri Begawan. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin
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Old October 27th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #788
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Cebu Pacific stock offering raises P23.3B

Cebu Pacific stock offering raises P23.3B
Still has option to sell P3.49B worth of shares

By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:16:00 10/27/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Investors snapped up shares of Gokongwei-led Cebu Air Inc. on its stock trading debut Tuesday as the Cebu Pacific airline operator made global history for a share offering worth at least $539 million, the biggest stock deal by a budget carrier.

Shares of Cebu Air—the biggest in the Philippines in terms of passengers carried and the third-largest budget carrier in Asia—rose 6.4 percent to P133 each from the IPO price of P125. It was the day’s most actively traded stock at the Philippine Stock Exchange where it ended its first day of trading with a market capitalization of P76.6 billion.

The company, which started trading under the ticker “CEB,” raised P23.3 billion from the sale of primary and secondary shares prior to the exercise of the option given to its underwriters to sell up to P3.49 billion worth of additional shares. This was so far the biggest stock offering size seen at the PSE in five years.

Citing wire data, Cebu Air said its IPO had topped IPOs previously held by other budget carriers across the globe such as Ryan Air ($159.6 million), Air Asia ($220.32 million) and Tiger Airways ($175.94 million).

“As expected, the shares sizzled as the IPO was well received. Cebu Air managed to fly past by the day’s negative sentiment in the market,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at local fund management firm First Grade Holdings. Explaining the market’s strong appetite for the shares, he said: “It’s the only airline that’s really listed in the market and is profitable.”

The carrier sold 186.6 million shares, or 30.4 percent of its outstanding stock, of which 70 percent was taken up by foreign investors and the rest by local investors. The shares, mostly secondary shares sold by parent firm JG Summit Holdings Inc., were transferred to public hands via special block sales at the local bourse.

Citigroup Global Markets Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG Hong Kong branch and J.P. Morgan Securities Ltd. acted as joint global coordinators, book runners and international lead managers for this offering, while ATR KimEng Capital Partners Inc. was the domestic underwriter.

Including the over-allotment shares, Cebu Air could sell shares worth a total of P26.8 billion, making it the second-biggest IPO in local stock market history. The over-allotment option covering 27.99 million shares has yet to be finalized but there were buyers already lined up to take up the shares, said Cebu Air senior vice president BJ Sebastian.

Sebastian added that Cebu Air has yet to declare employee stock option plans under the offering.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #789
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RP seeks new air deal with China

RP seeks new air deal with China
By Paolo Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:18:00 10/27/2010

MANILA, Philippines—The government plans to seek more flights between the country and China when representatives of the two countries sit down to update their existing air rights agreement next month.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), which heads the Philippine air panel, said it had scheduled a meeting with its Chinese counterpart in Beijing on November 23 to update the six-year-old air agreement between the two countries.

“The traffic between China and the Philippines is growing fast but the flight entitlements between the two countries are now almost fully allocated,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said in an interview.

Arcilla said the country’s current air deal with China, which provided the number of flights that could be flown between the two countries, was signed in 2004 and it now badly needed updating.

Under the existing deal, airlines from the Philippines are allowed to bring a total of 10,000 passengers to and from China every week. Chinese carriers are also entitled to the same number of passengers.

Arcilla said this translated to just seven flights daily for each side. “That’s no longer enough,” he said.

“China offers a huge potential because of the size of its population and because of the fact that it is emerging to become the biggest economy in the world,” he said.

He said airlines from both countries had been clamoring for the increase in entitlements amid the growing demand for travel in the region.

The CAB, he said, had asked local airlines to notify the regulator of the number of flights they might need, which would be the basis for the number of entitlements that the Philippine panel would seek in the negotiations next month.

At the moment, flag carrier Philippine Airlines and budget airline Cebu Pacific have flights to Chinese cities Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and Guangzhou.

Arcilla also said the air panel was working on new deals with Indonesia and Hong Kong. The body is composed of representatives from the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Department of Tourism, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Trade and Industry.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #790
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Terminal 3 establishments ‘evicted’

by Eric B. Apolonio
Manila Standard Today - Oct 25

THE consortium that built the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 is “evicting” all businesses operating in the facility.

The Quasha Ancheta Pea and Nolasco law firm, representing the Philippine International Air Terminal Co., said ownership of NAIA’s Terminal 3 “would only be vested to the government upon full payment of just compensation to Piatco,” citing a Supreme Court ruling.

An “eviction notice” that the law firm prepared has already been sent to the Gokongwei-owned Cebu Pacific.

Another carrier, AirPhil Express—a sister airline of Philippine Airlines—is also supposedly covered by the “eviction” since it relocated to Terminal 3 this year from the old domestic airport.

Cebu Pacific, which operates all its Metro Manila flight services from Terminal 3, started using the facility on July 22, 2008.


Small restaurants and shops inside the terminal including Jollibee, Ministop convenience store, and the Saint Cinnamon bakeshop are also being “evicted.”

“As you are aware, Piatco is the owner of NAIA Terminal 3 facilities. The writ of possession issued in 2006 did not transfer ownership of the facilities to the government,” the notice said.

Cebu Pacific had brushed off the “eviction,” telling Piatco lawyers to direct its concern to the Philippine government because its contract is with the Manila International Airport Authority.

For his part, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado told Manila Standard that “Piatco should direct its letters to the government and not to the concessionaires,” adding that there is an existing contract among the 30 or so concessionaires and the MIAA.

Piatco is a consortium composed of airport cargo handler Paircargo of the Cheng family and German airport developer Fraport AG.

It was awarded a build-operate-transfer contract for the construction and management of a new international passenger terminal in 1999.

In 2002, the Philippine government rescinded the BOT contract after it was found defective. The consortium sought arbitration from international courts to demand compensation.

The Washington-based International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes or ICSID dismissed Fraport’s complaint.

In August, the International Criminal Court in Singapore ruled in favor of the Philippine government in a separate arbitration case against Piatco. With the Singapore ruling, the government will no longer have to pay $1.1 billion to the consortium.

In the wake of these legal victories, the government announced that it would privatize Terminal 3’s operation and maintenance once all remaining legal obstacles have been resolved.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 08:06 AM   #791
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Originally Posted by NTprime View Post
Cebu Pacific stock offering raises P23.3B
Still has option to sell P3.49B worth of shares

By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:16:00 10/27/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Investors snapped up shares of Gokongwei-led Cebu Air Inc. on its stock trading debut Tuesday as the Cebu Pacific airline operator made global history for a share offering worth at least $539 million, the biggest stock deal by a budget carrier.

Shares of Cebu Air—the biggest in the Philippines in terms of passengers carried and the third-largest budget carrier in Asia—rose 6.4 percent to P133 each from the IPO price of P125. It was the day’s most actively traded stock at the Philippine Stock Exchange where it ended its first day of trading with a market capitalization of P76.6 billion.

The company, which started trading under the ticker “CEB,” raised P23.3 billion from the sale of primary and secondary shares prior to the exercise of the option given to its underwriters to sell up to P3.49 billion worth of additional shares. This was so far the biggest stock offering size seen at the PSE in five years.

Citing wire data, Cebu Air said its IPO had topped IPOs previously held by other budget carriers across the globe such as Ryan Air ($159.6 million), Air Asia ($220.32 million) and Tiger Airways ($175.94 million).

“As expected, the shares sizzled as the IPO was well received. Cebu Air managed to fly past by the day’s negative sentiment in the market,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at local fund management firm First Grade Holdings. Explaining the market’s strong appetite for the shares, he said: “It’s the only airline that’s really listed in the market and is profitable.”

The carrier sold 186.6 million shares, or 30.4 percent of its outstanding stock, of which 70 percent was taken up by foreign investors and the rest by local investors. The shares, mostly secondary shares sold by parent firm JG Summit Holdings Inc., were transferred to public hands via special block sales at the local bourse.

Citigroup Global Markets Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG Hong Kong branch and J.P. Morgan Securities Ltd. acted as joint global coordinators, book runners and international lead managers for this offering, while ATR KimEng Capital Partners Inc. was the domestic underwriter.

Including the over-allotment shares, Cebu Air could sell shares worth a total of P26.8 billion, making it the second-biggest IPO in local stock market history. The over-allotment option covering 27.99 million shares has yet to be finalized but there were buyers already lined up to take up the shares, said Cebu Air senior vice president BJ Sebastian.

Sebastian added that Cebu Air has yet to declare employee stock option plans under the offering.
i want to buy shares of cebu pac, where can i go to buy them in the philippines.. please advise..thank you in advance.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 04:10 AM   #792
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i want to buy shares of cebu pac, where can i go to buy them in the philippines.. please advise..thank you in advance.
You should be able to buy them from your broker abroad or from those who allow online trading. Are you planning to keep the stocks for the mid to long term? I think the returns will be quite good in the next 3-5 years.

The prices will most likely continue upward especially towards the end of the year. If Cebu Pacific will start launching mid to long haul flights, or if PAL runs into trouble again with the labor unions, expect the stock of Cebu Pacific to increase some more.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 05:24 AM   #793
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Aquino asked to intervene in PAL labor dispute

Aquino asked to intervene in PAL labor dispute

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:26:00 11/01/2010

MANILA, Philippines—The labor dispute in the country’s prime flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL), is now for President Benigno Aquino III to solve, a lawmaker said on Monday.

This developed as several members of the House of Representatives pushed anew for an inquiry into the impending layoff at PAL, and for the passage of legislation to prohibit labor-only contracting and to strengthen the security of tenure of the country’s workers.

“PAL services are basic utility services and they affect national interest, the PAL labor dispute cannot be treated like an ordinary labor problem,” said Gabriela party-list Representative Luz Ilagan, in calling on the President to get his hands on the case.

She said that in such a situation, the company’s profits should come “secondary to national interest.”

Ilagan and another party-list congresswoman, Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao, echoed the sentiments of some labor groups in condemning the decision of Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to allow PAL to lay-off 2,600 of its regular employees belonging to the PAL Employees Association (Palea).

Ilagan said Malacanang should now step into the labor row to avert a crisis in employment.

“The DoLE should not have allowed this. It sends a chilling effect on workers, who cannot enjoy security of tenure. Congress should review existing labor laws and amend or pass new ones with greater protection for the workforce, or else, we will lose them to jobs abroad,” she said in a text message.

Ilagan is one of the authors of a resolution to investigate the alleged discrimination of women in the workplace, particularly in PAL, which sets 40 as the age of retirement.

Of the 1,600 flight attendants of PAL, about two-thirds are women, the lawmaker said.

Northern Samar Representative Emil Ong, chairman of the House labor committee, said he will immediately convene his committee to look into the lay-offs in PAL when sessions resume on November 8.

In a phone interview, Ong said the committee will investigate how the DoLE came up with the decision allowing the lay-offs, noting the big number of employees that will lose their regular employment.

Bag-ao said Baldoz’s decision is a “death knell, a funeral toll for regular employment.”

“It opens the floodgates to intensified contractualization across industries, a situation that has been vigorously opposed by labor organizations in the country.”

She said the labor committee in the House should immediately look into the matter to see the contractualization of employment in public utilities and holders of government franchise, and come up with legislation that will regulate, if not prohibit, contractualization of regular positions.

Coming amid a separate labor dispute involving pilots and flight attendants, Bag-ao said the impending termination of the union members shows that PAL is “assaulting workers’ rights virtually at all levels.”

“This is a dark day not only for PAL employees, but for all Filipino workers,” she added.

At least seven bills and resolutions are pending in the committee on labor in the House seeking inquiry into the PAL labor row, including Bag-ao’s House Resolution 181 on the collective bargaining agreement between PAL management and employees.

Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano said DoLE’s decision sets a “dangerous precedent.”

“The Aquino government practically gave a go-signal to employers to implement massive contractualization of labor, indiscriminately violate of workers’ rights, and disregard the Philippine Labor Code,” he said in a statement.

Instead of protecting the workers’ interests, the department took the side of the management of PAL and disregarded the employees’ security in the workplace, he said.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 05:30 AM   #794
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PAL ground employees not jobless—DoLE

PAL ground employees not jobless—DoLE

INQUIRER.net
First Posted 08:18:00 11/01/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said her decision upholding former acting secretary Romeo Lagman’s ruling for the planned outsourcing of services of Philippine Airlines’ ground crew will not render the 2,600 (not 3,000 as earlier reported) jobless.

Citing her decision, Baldoz emphasized that the 2,600 PAL employees who are part of its in-flight catering, airport services (cargo handling), and call center reservations operations, all identified as non-core activities of the airline in its 1998 Supplemental Rehabilitation Plan approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, are all guaranteed with employment and hefty transition benefits.

The decision, in declaring valid the termination of the covered rank-and-file employees, established two parameters under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA): the exercise of the management prerogative was done in a just, reasonable, humane, and lawful manner; and the observance of the 45-day consultation period, required in the CBA, before implementing the reorganization.

In a statement, Baldoz said that the just and humane exercise of the management prerogative to close and outsource the services is reflected in the improved transition benefits that will be granted all affected employees which, the DoLE chief explained in the decision, are “over and above the benefits granted in the original decision and even under existing laws.”

The DoLE affirmed the original decision to specifically provide the employees a one-year guarantee of entry point salaries with the service providers.

The terminated employees shall be absorbed by their respective service providers, and PAL shall guarantee payment of their salaries for a period of at least one year from the time of their separation from employment as the original decision provided.

The employees shall be absorbed by SkyKitchen Phil. Inc. (catering), SkyLogistics Phil. Inc. (airport services), and ePLDT Ventus, a PLDT subsidiary (call center), according to the decision.

The affected employees shall also be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to 1.25 percent per year of service. This is an improvement of one-fourth the amount of the employees’ one month salary which is provided for in the original decision.

They shall also continue to enjoy trip pass benefits in accordance with the CBA between the PAL and Palea and the PAL Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual, graduated under the following terms: lifetime trip passes for employees with 15 years in service and more; eight sets of trip passes for those with 10-15 years of service; five sets of trip passes for those with 5 to 10 years of service; and two sets of trip passes for those with less than 5 years in service.

The DoLE decision also provides for the following: additional gratuity of P50,000 per affected employee; vacation leave balance that is 100 percent commutable to cash regardless of years of service; sick leave balance that is 100 percent commutable to cash regardless of years of service; and extension of one year of the medical and hospitalization package based on Articles XIII to XV of the CBA and pertinent company policy.

Baldoz noted that the first two benefits had been ordered in the original decision, but she improved it, while the rest of the benefits were initially offered by PAL to its employees affected by the outsourcing program under its early retirement program.

In rendering the decision, the DoLE said the PAL’s contracting out of the functions is also lawful and reasonable pursuant to the CBA between PAL and Palea, the law between the parties.

“The CBA affirmed the management prerogative of PAL “to organize, plan, direct, and control operations,” as well as the prerogative to “reorganize its corporate structure for the viability of its operations.”

The decision cited several Supreme Court decisions upholding the exercise of management prerogatives.

The decision also noted that based on the CBA and Article 283 of the Labor Code, PAL’s closure of the three departments was reasonable and lawful as it was a measure to address PAL’s accumulated net losses and deficits; the numerous factors adversely affecting its operations, such as the surge in fuel prices in 2008, the ban for PAL to enter the air space of 27 European Union member states, and the IATA suspension of PAL remittance facilities; and PAL’s need to survive in a highly competitive airline industry.

According to the decision, the DoLE had established that PAL more than complied with the 45-day consultation requirement under the CBA, considering the consultations and preventive mediation conferences between the PAL and the Palea before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board as far back as September 2009.

The DoLE also ruled that the termination of services does not constitute unfair labor practice on the part of PAL. This, the decision said, is in accordance with the finding that management’s prerogative to close and outsource services in the three departments was done in good faith and was in accordance both with the CBA and the Labor Code.

“The ‘good faith’ efforts of the company to prevent business losses and maintain competitiveness negate any suspicion that contracting out services was motivated by the intention to discourage the exercise of, or interfere with, the right to self-organization,” the decision said.

“In fact,” the decision noted, “Palea shall continue to exist even after the outsourcing of services in the three departments with its officers and members in unaffected operations and departments” having commenced “collective bargaining negotiations with the company.”
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 09:55 AM   #795
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No-show Customs staff stall Airphil

AN Airbus-320 with 148 passengers returning after its inaugural flight from Singapore early Friday morning was held up for nearly an hour because there were no customs employees at the egress of the aircraft.


It is standard operating procedure on all commercial passenger aircraft that customs staff should be present before a flight crew can open the doors for passengers can disembark at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Boarding Officers of the Aircraft Operations Division under Customs terminal 3 unit were not around at 12:20 a.m. For Airphil Express flight 2P-801.

The pilot had to appease the passengers who were lineup on the aisle ager to deplane.

At 1:15 am, the situation eased up when staff from the terminal operations division opened the door , allowing the travelers to reach the immigration counters for clearance.

Members of media—ABS-CBN and TV5, reporters from the Business Mirror, Manila Standard, Malaya and other media entities—were among those invited to the APX maiden flight.

The impasse was attributed to a standoff between Customs and the Board of Airline Operators on who would pay the overtime and allowances of staff working outside the 8 to 5 schedule.

Earlier, Customs Commissioner Alvarez ordered NAIA-assigned officials and staff to help in preventing disruption of passenger flow. Eric Apolonio
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 07:09 PM   #796
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Also posted in the Philippines Airlines, Airplanes and Airports Thread 27:

PAL looks to state-owned banks for loan

BY DARWIN G. AMOJELAR SENIOR REPORTER

FRESH from a favorable government ruling on its planned retrenchment, Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Wednesday said it would tap state-owned banks to finance the multibillion-peso severance package of close to 2,600 terminated rank-and-file workers.

In a briefing, Jaime Bautista, PAL president and chief operating officer, told reporters that the company’s planned spin-off of in-flight catering, airport services and call center reservations will cost an estimated P2.5 billion.

Bautista said this is higher than the original P2 billion estimate that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had assumed in its decision clearing the way for the flag carrier’s retrenchment.

The executive said PAL plans to finance the severance package of its terminated employees by securing loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines or Land Bank of the Philippines.

“If this is not possible, we will seek financing from other PAL creditors,” he said.

Given its recent losses and current financial position, PAL would be hard put to raise P2.5-billion, Bautista said, adding that this is a bitter pill the company has to swallow.

“PAL believes DOLE’s decision is ‘just, reasonable and humane.’ Since it has the force and effect of a law, we must respect the ruling,” he said.

Earlier, the DOLE assumed jurisdiction of the labor row at the airline, effectively preventing the workers from embarking on a strike that would have crippled PAL’s operations.

Barring a court-issued temporary restraining order, the airline management plans to implement the appropriate provisions of DOLE’s order after the prescriptive period for legal remedies lapses, the executive said.

“By not contesting the DOLE Secretary’s decision, especially the grant of additional benefits, PAL hopes to finally implement a long delayed corporate restructuring that aims to stabilize the airline’s finances and eventually lead to an expansion and improvement of services,” Bautista said.

“The decision to spin off was difficult but necessary. At the end of the day, PAL wants to be remembered not for the 2,600 jobs it lost, but the more than 4,000 it saved,” he said.

PAL expects to save about P500 million to P600 million a year from its planned spin-off.

“It’s a solution to a problem that would keep the flag carrier flying,” Bautista said.

“The spin-off will lead to the early retirement of affected rank-and-file workers. They will all receive their respective separation pay and benefits that are much more than what the Labor Code provides,” he said

A unit of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., ePLDT Ventus, would take over the call center reservations service of PAL, while Sky Kitchen and Sky
Logistics would assume the catering and airport service functions, respectively. Cebu-based businessman Manny Osmena owns Sky Kitchen and Sky Logistics.

In 2000, PAL sold its maintenance and engineering department to Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP), which absorbed the flag carrier’s 1,300 mechanics.

PAL insists the spin-off of its three non-core units would allow it to survive a compendium of debilitating issues, including $312-million in losses in the last two years due to the global recession, volatile fuel prices, the US Federal Aviation Administration’s downgrade of the Philippines’ aviation safety rating to Category 2, cut-throat competition from budget airlines, and the previous government’s liberal grant of air traffic rights to foreign carriers.

In the first quarter ending June, the flag carrier recorded a profit of $31.6 million, or 11 percent lower than a year ago.

Revenues went up by 30 percent to $426.7 million over last year’s $327.7 million.

It sought rehabilitation in 1998 after racking up $2.12 billion in debts.

PAL brought down its liabilities to about $1 billion since entering corporate receivership and emerged from rehabilitation after recording a profit in 2007.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 10:24 PM   #797
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Beware of airport staff humming Jingle Bells

Christmas may be approaching, but it is no excuse for personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to hum Christmas songs to “pester" passengers for a gift.

The reminder came Saturday from Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado, who stressed asking for gifts is not part of the spirit of the season.

“Huwag sila magparinig na Pasko na, minsan kinakanta (I have reminded NAIA personnel not to nag passengers by making subtle hints that Christmas is approaching. Some of them have reportedly been singing Christmas songs as a hint)," Honrado said on government-run dzRB radio.

While he said he will give leeway to personnel who get gifts from “generous" passengers, he will be strict against them actively asking for gifts.

“Sometimes you cannot avoid it if a generous passenger gives you a gift. But definitely there will be no leeway for those who ask for gifts," he said.

Meanwhile, Honrado reiterated his order to implement tighter measures against trafficking syndicates that continue sending Filipino jobseekers abroad illegally.

Honrado earlier ordered tighter measures at NAIA Terminal 1, where many foreign airlines operate, including a 24/7 watch against human trafficking rings.

Also, he ordered closer coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. — LBG, GMANews.TV
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Old November 4th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffarambo1 View Post
Beware of airport staff humming Jingle Bells

Christmas may be approaching, but it is no excuse for personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to hum Christmas songs to “pester" passengers for a gift.

The reminder came Saturday from Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado, who stressed asking for gifts is not part of the spirit of the season.

“Huwag sila magparinig na Pasko na, minsan kinakanta (I have reminded NAIA personnel not to nag passengers by making subtle hints that Christmas is approaching. Some of them have reportedly been singing Christmas songs as a hint)," Honrado said on government-run dzRB radio.

While he said he will give leeway to personnel who get gifts from “generous" passengers, he will be strict against them actively asking for gifts.

“Sometimes you cannot avoid it if a generous passenger gives you a gift. But definitely there will be no leeway for those who ask for gifts," he said.


Meanwhile, Honrado reiterated his order to implement tighter measures against trafficking syndicates that continue sending Filipino jobseekers abroad illegally.

Honrado earlier ordered tighter measures at NAIA Terminal 1, where many foreign airlines operate, including a 24/7 watch against human trafficking rings.

Also, he ordered closer coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. — LBG, GMANews.TV
This is not enough, IMO. They should actually follow the lead of Singapore and other Asian countries and implement a policy similar to "no tipping". The P750 terminal fee that departing passengers shell out should be more than enough to pay for the repairs of the airport facility as well as the salaries of the employees.

By singing Jingle Bells and greeting people Merry Christmas when it is still over 50 days away is one very bad habit the Filipino government worker has, especially if expecting something in return. They will get a bewildered look from foreigners wondering why Christmas is trying to come early on only in this part of the world
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Old November 4th, 2010, 04:05 PM   #799
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RBA ending codeshares with PAL
October 16, 2010

Bandar Seri Begawan - Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) has assented to end their code share agreement on October 31, 2010 with the the last code shared flight scheduled on October 30.

Royal Brunei Airlines has decreased flights to seven times weekly to Manila amidst competition from budget carrier Cebu Pacific which started flying to Bandar Seri Begawan on August 21.

"Although both carriers have mutually agreed to end the code share arrangement, we still look forward to working with Philippine Airlines in the future and we wish them great success in their future endeavours." says Raiz Moiz, RBA Executive Vice President of Commercial and Planning.

Passengers with current bookings are directed to call both PAL and RBA for further inquiries as to how this termination may affect their future trip after October. -- with news from Borneo Bulletin
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Old November 4th, 2010, 04:06 PM   #800
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PAL realigning Australian operations
Temporarily suspends Brisbane
October 16, 2010

By Mary Ann LL. Reyes

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is realigning its Australian operations starting with the temporary suspension of flights to and from Brisbane effective Oct. 31, 2010.

Consequently, the flag carrier’s five times a week flights to Melbourne will be adjusted to thrice weekly, while flights to Sydney – one of PAL’s most popular Australian destinations – remains unaffected with five times weekly services, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.


She explained that the decision to temporarily halt its Brisbane services was due to marketing considerations.

Passengers to be affected by the flight realignments shall be properly notified by PAL’s contact center and advised on the best options to proceed to their respective destinations, she said.

Villaluna stressed that Australia remains an important market for PAL, recognizing the route’s growth potential as a vital component of their long-term commitment to the island-continent.

However, market conditions and the onset of the lean season necessitated some changes in the number of destinations and frequency of flights the flag carrier mounts to Australia, she pointed out.

Meanwhile, airline passengers from the Philippines bound for the United States are now required to provide detailed personal information before taking their flight in compliance with the Secure Flight Program, a new security measure being implemented by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Starting today, US-bound PAL passengers will be asked to give their complete name (as reflected in the passport), date of birth, gender, nationality, passport number, visa number and address at destination in the US.

These information will be asked when booking for a flight or buying a ticket either by phone through PAL Reservations, the PAL website, at any PAL ticket office or any accredited travel agent.

The information shall be transmitted by PAL through its Departure Control System (DCS) for matching against the US DHS database. Results of the data matching would be reflected in the PAL DCS when a passenger checks in for the flight.

The Secure Flight Program requires specific data from passengers of all flights (including code share flights) by US-based and non-US-based carriers that fly to/from/within/over the US, including Guam and Saipan.

The program seeks to facilitate passenger handling by screening out those tagged as inhibited/prohibited from entering the US, starting at point of origin.

Passengers who would be misidentified for someone else in the database and eventually cleared to take their flight should submit a Redress Control Number (RCN) issued by the US DHS. Affected passengers are advised to always give their RCN in subsequent bookings or ticket purchases to avoid any future mismatch and inconvenience.

According to the US TSA website, “Secure Flight is a behind the scenes program that enhances the security of commercial air travel through the use of improved watch list matching. By collecting additional passenger data, it will improve the travel experience for all airline passengers, including those who have been misidentified in the past.”

PAL is implementing the program starting Oct. 15 for flights beginning Nov. 1, 2010.

The company added that passengers who may experience being unfairly delayed or prohibited from boarding the flight due to the new security program, should direct their complaints to the US DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP).

The total number of passengers from Manila to the US, including Honolulu, on PAL flights for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2010, reached 303,980 to date.
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