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Sunday, April 21, 2024

House greenlights Air PHL franchise bill

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The House of Representatives on Monday endorsed for Senate approval a bill renewing for another 25 years the franchise granted to Air Philippines Corp.

This after lawmakers—voting 168 affirmative, 0 negative, and 0 abstention—approved House Bill 10442 or the act renewing for another 25 years the franchise granted to Air Philippines Corp., doing business under the name and style of Airphil Express, PAL Express and Philippine Airlines.

The bill seeks to allow the Air Philippines Corp. to continue providing air transport services in the Philippines.

The bill mandates the grantee to secure the appropriate permits and licenses for the construction, development, establishment, operation, and maintenance of its airport properties or facilities from the CAB and CAAP.

It also mandates the grantee to maintain scheduled or nonscheduled or chartered local and international air transport services, and that at least 25 percent of all its frequencies shall be for domestic market.

Under the measure, the grantee must fix “just and reasonable rates” for its commercial operations, subject to the regulations and approval of the CAB and other proper regulatory agencies of the government.

The bill also reserves the right of the President of the Philippines to temporarily take over and operate the airport properties or facilities of the grantee, to temporarily suspend the operation of the Airport in the interest of public safety, security and public welfare, or to authorize the temporary use and operation thereof by any agency of the government in times of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity, emergency, disaster, or disturbance of peace and order.

It also mandates the grantee to create employment opportunities and to comply with the applicable labor standards and allowance entitlement under existing labor laws.

Meanwhile, it prohibits the grantee from leasing, transferring, selling nor assigning the franchise or the controlling interest thereof without the prior approval of the Congress of the Philippines.

The bill requires the grantee to offer to Filipino citizens at least 30 percent of its outstanding stock in any security exchange in the Philippines or through other methods of encouraging public participation by citizens and corporations operating public utilities as allowed by law.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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