By Zaldy De Layola

File photo

MANILA – A lawmaker on Monday called for an inquiry into the “perennial” complaints against domestic airlines.

OFW Party-list Representative Marissa “Del Mar” Magsino said she filed House Resolution No.1105 seeking an inquiry to address the concerns repeatedly raised by airline passengers, particularly by the overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

“There have been consistent and perennial complaints from air passengers in and out of the country against a number of domestic airlines, of being offloaded due to overbooking, flight delays and cancellations without timely and valid explanations, long queues, mobile app glitches, lost baggage, unnecessary security checks, lackluster or unresponsive customer assistance service, and other operational issues that make travel to and out of the country a disappointing and frustrating experience,” Magsino said.

She said instances of revoked overseas employment contracts and penalties resulting from delayed arrivals have affected some OFWs.

“Napakalaking bahagi ng labor migration ang ating aviation industry. Ang mga pagbabago sa presyo ng flights, kaguluhan sa schedules, pati mga aberya sa ating mga paliparan, ay may direktang epekto sa kabuhayan ng ating mga OFW (Aviation industry is a big part of labor migration. Sudden changes in flights price, chaotic schedules and airline problems directly affect the livelihood of our OFWs),” she added.

In a previous Senate hearing on airline passengers’ complaints against budget airline Cebu Pacific, Qatar-based OFW Rafael Bartolome said he experienced multiple flight cancellations.

The OFW Party-list endorsed Bartolome’s case along with another OFW from Saudi Arabia, who was meted a seven-day salary deduction for his missed flight, to the Senate Committee on Tourism.

Magsino said “bad service” does not only negatively impact air passengers but also undermines critical pillars of the country’s economy – tourism and labor migration. (PNA)