Secretary Tugade hails organizers of First Philippine Aviation Day

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Members of the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) have recently concluded the successful holding of the first ever Philippine Aviation Day in Manila.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade (center) joins the presidents of local airlines and top global aviation officials in congratulating the organizers of the event which was sponsored by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Shown, starting 4th from left – CEBGo  president Alexander Lao; PAL Express president Bonifacio U. Sam; Rafael Garchitorena of Deutsche Bank; Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general; Sec. Tugade; PAL president Jaime J. Bautista; Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei; and Philippines AirAsia president Capt. Dexter Comendador.

 

Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei is new ACAP chair

Turn over ACAP chairmanship from PAL to Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific President Lance Gokongwei (left) is the new chairman of the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) as PAL president Jaime Bautista (right) turned over the compass trophy during the conclusion of the first Philippine Aviation Day organized by ACAP and sponsored by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), held on October 27, 2017 at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.

Philippine air carriers urge government to stop tax burden on airlines

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1st Q400 NG delivery flight at Malta stop over 2

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The Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) has endorsed the urgent recommendations adopted recently by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) calling for Asia-Pacific governments to invest in aviation infrastructure and air traffic management systems to meet the projected growth in demand for air transport and avoid unnecessary congestion, delays, and inconvenience to the traveling public.

In its first ever Philippine Aviation Day, ACAP charter chairman and Philippine Airlines (PAL) president Jaime Bautista has urged governments to refrain from increasing the taxation burden on airlines and avoid unjustified or discriminatory taxes affecting aviation.

Bautista stressed the need for governments to strengthen multilateral cooperation on aviation security and coordinate with all stakeholders before implementing new border control measures and support the CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) measures to control aviation emissions.

“Local air travel continues to connect people around the world while providing ease of travel and cost competitiveness,” said Bautista.

ACAP is composed of PAL, Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, CEBGo, Philippines AirAsia.  “We compete aggressively in a healthy contest where there can be only one winner –  the flying public. The result is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic domestic aviation networks in the world,” said Bautista.

At the summit’s conclusion, ACAP member airlines have pledged to work in partnership with Philippine government agencies and stakeholders for the advancement of Philippine civil aviation.

ACAP carriers recognize that the local air travel industry faces serious challenges. “We no longer enjoy the benefits of low fuel prices. Our ability to grow and generate revenues and jobs for the country continues to be susceptible to the fallout from external events, political turbulence, global terrorism and burdensome regulations,” said Bautista.

“We wrestle with infrastructure limitations, starting with serious limitations of our primary airport in Manila, and constraints in airports north and south of the capital.”

ACAP is seeking the support of the Philippine government to provide a regulatory environment that gives airlines the flexibility and latitude needed to do business and respond to market conditions.

Despite all the challenges, “we see an expanding market, and a healthy demand for tourist travel due to intensive promotions and the government’s push for better tourism infrastructure and a more enriching tourism experience.”

“We expect a more sophisticated and comprehensively improved air transport infrastructure under the government’s build-build-build program. A number of airport terminals have been upgraded, with more terminals and even greenfield airports in the pipeline,” said Bautista.

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the Philippine government to maximize the economic and social benefits that aviation can bring to the country by addressing airport infrastructure deficiencies in Manila, scrap proposals for increased taxation on aviation and adopt smarter regulation principles.

“Aviation is vital to the Philippines which supports 1.2 million jobs and $9.2 billion in gross domestic product (GDP). The domestic network binds the country across 7,000 islands. International links keep families and businesses connected and bring in tourists. But the social and economic benefits of air transport are at risk if the key issues of airport infrastructure, excessive regulation and taxation are not addressed,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

IATA recommends either to urgently enhance the runway and terminal capacities of NAIA or build a new airport near Manila.

“Excessively onerous regulation can be a huge burden on the ability of aviation to deliver its social and economic benefits.”

De Juniac cited new consumer protection legislation being studied in the Philippines that would cap airfares, prohibit overbooking and impose onerous consumer protections extra-territorially.

“Introducing government-imposed fare caps would likely have the unintended consequence of reducing deeply discounted fares. If airlines cannot charge a premium for ultimate flexibility, then covering costs will likely lead to a rise in average fares,” said de Juniac.

He also called on the Philippine government to avoid implementing a tourism tax and to abandon a proposed Green Fee.

“The proposed Green Fee is misguided and should be abandoned. Governments through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have agreed a global approach to climate change based on improvements in technology, infrastructure, and operations. “

“There is an agreed Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The cause of sustainability is best served by the Philippines supporting this global approach and volunteering to participate in CORSIA,” said de Juniac.

 

Philippines vows to improve business climate

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The Philippine government is exerting efforts to fast-track reforms in order to ease doing business in the country.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia has assured businesses that the government is working hard to institute reforms and help improve the business climate in the Philippines.

The government is eyeing the “single-window approach” instead of establishing a one-stop shop or co-location of government agencies which the government was earlier pushing for.

“We are not satisfied with a single-stop shop approach. We want to have a single-window approach so that the processing of permits and business applications will be faster,” said Pernia.

With the single-window approach, businesses will only have to submit all documents to one government representative or office which will handle all related processes from there.

The Philippines was ranked 113th in the World Bank Group’s 2018 ranking of 190 economies in its annual ease of doing business report. While the country slid down from the 99th place last year, its score improved by 0.42 points—from 58.32 last year to 58.74 this year.

Pernia stressed the need to carry out measures spelled out in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, the country’s blueprint for socioeconomic development.

“The President has issued Executive Order 27 which mandated all government agencies at the local and national levels, including GOCCs, to follow what is provided for in the PDP and even adjust the budget and programs to achieve the objectives in the PDP,” Pernia said.

Legislative reforms to improve the ease of doing business in the country are also underway with the Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act expected to be passed by early next year.

Other legislative agenda that the government is pushing for include the amendment of the Local Government Code to address the challenges in local service delivery and the passage of the E-government Act to enable interoperability of government data and processes to increase efficiency and economy in the delivery of services.

In relation to the Unified National Identification System Act pending in Congress, Pernia said that the government will be sending a mission to India to observe its national ID for Development (ID4D) system that has become the global model.

Pernia also reiterated the government’s plan to amend certain economic provisions of the Philippine Constitution to relax restrictive foreign ownership provisions to attract more foreign investments.

Two-thirds of Filipinos fear robots will take their jobs away

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Almost two-thirds of Filipinos agree that robots will take their jobs away, however, many do not currently feel personally threatened by robots in the workplace, with only 1 in 10 believing that a robot would be better than them at their job.

A new survey by YouGov said that younger generations are less certain of their place at work. While 53% of those aged 18-29 think that a robot would not be better than them at their job, nearly 6 in 10 of those over 45 do.

Those under 45 are also more likely to think that a robot could do their job at least as well as them.

Forty percent of 18-29-year-olds believe a robot could do their job either the same as or better than them. This is true for 34% of 30-44-year-olds but just 32% of over 45s.

With robots set to shake up the economy, there is certainly a challenge ahead. 8 in 10 Filipinos agree that robots should be regulated carefully, suggesting that regulators will have to forge a new and difficult path that seeks to maximise the benefits of new technology without taking away citizens’ opportunities or income.

YouGov said that developments in genetics, artificial intelligence and robotics mean that robots could instead destroy livelihoods across vast swathes of the population, with recent research suggesting that about 45 percent of the activities people are paid to do could be automated over the next few decades.

About 73 percent of Filipinos believe that robots will make their lives easier and three-quarters agree that robots can do things humans don’t want to do.

A new survey by YouGov Omnibus revealed that most Filipinos are happy to welcome robots into their lives, with just 1 in 20 saying they would not want a robot.

However, the survey suggests that Filipinos are cautiously optimistic about the impact of robots on society.

Out of a list of 12 possible functions, the most popular use for a robot is to help with cleaning the house, which almost 8 in 10 would want. Other popular choices include security and assistance at work.

Women and men appear to be in broad agreement about the use of robots for household chores such as cleaning the house, gardening and carrying things.

However, they are more divided about the use of robots for security – 79% of men would want a robot for security, whereas 72% of women do and driving – 36% of men would want a robot to help with driving, while 25% of women would want the same.

Despite being able to see the benefits that robots could bring, Filipinos also recognize the threat they pose to people’s employment prospects.