News : CAB Launches 24/7 Public Assistance Hotline
Manila, Philippines, April, 2017 -- Airport passengers may now report their ire, ask queries on a 24/7 basis via the Civil Aeronautics Board’s (CAB) public assistance hotline – 165-66.
"We aim to bring your concerns to the proper authority," noted CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla during the hotline’s official launch on Tuesday (April 11).
He added that this hotline was part of e-governance, which he described as adapting to the technology to better serve the public.
"It’s not just the job of the CAB staff to receive calls. We’ll use technology (to address the passengers’ concerns)," he said.
Arcilla said the hotline was an integrated system, as the CAB had partnered with different agencies such as the Department of Transportation, Manila International Airport Authority, among others, to make this happen.
Furthermore, passengers can also use other platforms of communication such as email and the social media to reach the CAB.
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At present, the system can handle five calls simultaneously. It is manned by 14 agents and one team leader.
"We made the system centralized, and this functions in real-time," Arcilla cited.
Passengers throughout the country can access the hotline with a regular call charge rate. They can also visit CAB’s Passengers Rights Assistance Desks located in commercial airports across the country.
Arcilla said that 25 of the 30 commercial airports in the country already have the said assistance desk. The CAB targets end of May to mount this help desk in all the other airports.
"There’s a dramatic increase in the number of domestic passengers over the last 10 years. We aim to help guide them and to protect their rights," he remarked.
In an interview, Wyrlou Samodio, CAB Legal Division chief, said they did not receive much passenger complaints before 2009.
"It was only now, lately, that complaints have been increasing," he said. This prompted the CAB to have a public assistance hotline.
Samodio added that the CAB had been requesting Congress for a budget to have the hotline, and it was only for this year that the request was granted.
Since the hotline’s soft launch in February, majority of the complaints received were about delayed flights and issues on refund.
Thus, he reminded the passengers to know their rights.
If, for instance, the flight will be delayed for at least three hours and whether or not it’s the airline’s fault, that is compensatory, he said.
He reminded that when that happens, passengers are entitled to get free food, rebooking, refund, and they should also have the option to be endorsed to other airlines flying the same routes.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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