The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has finally signed a joint administrative order on Air Passenger Bill of Rights.
The DOTC-DTI Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 1, Series of 2012 was approved after three public hearings conducted by the two Departments.The hearings were attended by various stakeholders, including representatives of airline companies, consumer groups and other concerned citizens, who actively presented their comments and suggestions to develop the regulation. The public consultations also involved the participation of other government units, such as the Department of Tourism and the offices of several Senators and Congressmen.
The Regulation will take effect ten (10) days after its publication (Tuesday) in major dailies, or on December 21, just in time for the expected influx of air passengers for the Christmas holiday.
Upon effectivity, the JAO shall oblige airline companies to provide passengers with compensation and amenities, such as refreshments or meals, hotel accommodations, transportation to and from the airport, and communication, in case of cancellation or flight delays.
The topics covered in the final JAO include:
· Right to be provided with accurate information
· Right to receive full value of the service purchased
· Right to compensation in cases of delay, cancellation, and delayed, lost or damaged baggage
With the implementation of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights, passengers in the air sector will be assured of protection against perceived unfair policies and practices of airline companies.
It was long overdue. But of course it is not too late to implement.