Press Release
August 29, 2018

Zubiri proposes trust fund for passenger emergency needs in next Airmaggedon

Sen. Zubiri pushed for the creation of a Trust Fund utilizing the travel tax collected at the Airports and sea ports and given to TIEZA to address basic needs of passengers in future Airmaggedons, or massive stranding of passengers. They should be fed, given sleeping facilities and granted cash for emergency needs. This is not new, we can easily refer to the template used by Changi airport which integrated sleeping quarters within the airport for those stranded. Integrated sleeping quarters is important, so that when operations normalize, the passengers could be dispatched quickly & much more efficiently. This is needed for passengers coming from far flung areas and have no means to book accommodations or go home to their respective provinces and cities by land while awaiting their rebooked flights.

The travel tax collected from us should serve us & address our basic needs. I propose that we amend the purpose & utilization of that tax, now transmitted to the TIEZA, by segregating & allocating for passenger emergency needs in all airports. I enjoin the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Appropriations to find ways to address this in the country's 2019 budget. Or, the Department of Transportation could deal with the TIEZA to prioritize these basic needs. TIEZA should now help build these facilities at all our airports that can accommodate those that are stranded or inconvenienced by delays, bad weather or accidents such as this. It's about time that we utilize the travel tax revenues for the very people that it was collected from in the first place, The traveling public.

Setting aside the issue of liability for the accident, our airport authorities must from hereon adopt measures to guarantee passenger convenience and safety among their high priorities. We have seen how NAIA belongs to a chain and that a broken link in that chain affects the whole chain of inbound & outbound traffic of each & every airport connected to us.

This accident & the resulting chain of delays, jampacked passengers & cargo and crowded airspace meant we lost time, money and, most of all, our face as a country inviting travelers for pleasure & business.

No one wanted this recent crisis to happen. We did not control the bad turn of the weather that fateful Xiamen airlines crash, but, definitely we have control of our future actions.

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