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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cebu Pacific: Why deny that "overbooking" was one of the major reasons for Christmas Day delays?

“I think overbooking is the main issue, not merely 
absenteeism of staff.” 
Representative Colmenares
Cebu Pacific: Why deny that "overbooking" was one of the major reasons for Christmas Day delays?
“We conservatively overbooked one to two percent. We did not think overbooking is primary cause of the problems we had.”
Lance Gokongwei 
From Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Cebu Pacific CEO Lance Gokongwei on Wednesday apologized before lawmakers for the company’s delayed and canceled flights which stranded irate passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) during the Christmas rush.

“I am humbled by the trust of so many Filipinos and foreign tourists placed on Cebu Pacifi to take them safely home to their destinations. Last Christmas, we let them down. And I am profoundly sorry that we failed them,” Gokongwei told the House of Representatives transportation committee hearing.

“After the events of last Christmas, we had done a lot of soul searching… Normally we can recover from such issues as they are daily occurrence for any airline. On those days, we cannot. While we did our best…our service was found wanting,” he added.

Gokongwei appealed to the riding public to understand that Cebu Pacific could not control challenges like the inclement weather.

“We work in a complex aviation environment of busy airports and inclement weather and aircrafts (which are) at times subject to delay. But our passengers don’t care about such things. They expect their airlines to manage these challenges for them,” he said.

Gokongwei was present for the House panel hearing to explain the Cebu Pacific’s side on allegations that its management allowed overbooking despite the peak season, resulting in flight delays, cancellations and chaos among irate passengers on their way to see their families for the holidays.

The country’s largest budget carrier airline was fined P52 million by the government for the holiday fiasco.

Gokongwei cited the following factors as causing the massive delays and cancellations of flights: inclement weather, failure of ground handler to fulfill services, undermanned operations, absenteeism of staff, as well as Cebu Pacific’s failure to anticipate the effects of the holiday peak season.

But the budget carrier president said overbooking is not the primary cause of the holiday fiasco. He said the airline overbooked one to two percent for the average four percent of passengers who missed their flights.


“We conservatively overbooked one to two percent… We did not think overbooking is primary cause of the problems we had,” Gokongwei said.

He said in the industry, airlines are allowed to overbook by 10 percent.

Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares, however, said he wanted to focus on overbooking allegations hounding the airline.

“I think overbooking is the main issue, not merely absenteeism of staff,” Colmenares said.

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez said he, as a frequent airplane traveler, noticed that flight delays and cancellations have become increasingly common with the budget carrier.

“Cebu Pacific used to be on time. But as years go by, it [has become] worse, delays have been increasing,” Benitez said.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said Gokongwei’s apology is not enough to appease the passengers’ outrage over the airport mess.

“This cannot be simply answered by an ‘I am sorry.’ It is incumbent upon Congress to assert its power over Cebu Pacific’s franchise which is subject to amendment or repeal when common good so requires,” Evardone said.

Gokongwei said the airline has implemented the following measures to prevent a repeat of the December fiasco: requiring domestic ground handler to take preventive measures to ensure sustainable staff buffers, contracting a second ground handler to supplement domestic check-ins and serve as alternative buffer, strengthening the management control in key areas, coordinating more closely with terminal management for use of additional facilities, and using a brand new Airbus arriving first quarter of this year as additional aircraft to assist disrupted passengers.

Scandal of overbooked holiday flights
From Daily Mail (UK)
Thousands of holiday-makers are suffering from the growing scandal of passengers being 'bumped' off over-booked flights.
Travel experts warn that on some flights as many as 150 tickets are sold for every 100 seats.
British Airways admitted it overbooked almost half a million seats a year as an EU report warned the problem among all airlines had reached unacceptable levels.
The Daily Mail today reveals the shocking extent to which passengers heading for summer getaways are facing delays despite checking in on time with valid tickets and confirmed reservations.
Consumer watchdogs are calling for the publication of figures showing how many passengers are being bumped - officially described as 'denied boarding'.
The airline industry admits it is standard practice to accept more reservations than there are seats.
The practice, which is not illegal, is justified by the airlines on the grounds that, statistically, some passengers will not show up. These 'noshows' are mainly business or first- class passengers with flexible tickets.
'Bumping' involves airline staff in departure lounges asking passengers to stay behind in return for cash compensation and a seat on the next available flight.
Airlines have no set rules about which passengers they will order off a flight - there is no appeal - if there are not enough volunteers.
However, passengers travelling with children, the disabled or other vulnerable people such as pregnant women are unlikely to be first choice.
Airlines will also be reluctant to alienate those who have paid full fare, particularly businessmen.
Simon Evans, chief executive of the Air Transport Users' Group, said: 'They might make the final decision by looking at who checked in or booked their flight latest. But on the whole it is pretty arbitrary and random.'
Minimum levels of compensation are laid down in an EU regulation governing all flights departing from airports within the EU.
Payments range from about £45 for missing a short-haul flight that leads to a short delay, to about £180 if it leads to a four-hour delay on a long-haul flight, though this can be exceeded.
Mr Evans said: 'Some airlines' flights have been 50 per cent overbooked. It varies according to the routes. We hear stories of 50 and 60 people being bumped at one time.
'All scheduled airlines over-book. Some are worse than others. We have had a long-running battle with Air India and named them in one of our annual reports.
'We'd like to know how exactly many people are bumped by each airline. Naming and shaming the worst offenders means passengers can see at a glance if someone is way out of line.'
The Daily Mail contacted a total of 21 airlines but only four - British Airways, British Midland bmi, Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways --were willing to release information.
The remainder either declined to co- operate or
failed to respond to our requests. Four American companies - Continental, United Airlines, Northwest and American Airlines - were not able to provide a breakdown for UK flights.
British Airways, which carries 48million passengers on 530,000 flights a year worldwide, admitted: 'We do have an over-booking policy similar to other airlines.'
It said that on average, this runs at a rate of 1 per cent --one overbooked seat for every 100 passengers. That means nearly half a million (480,000) overbooked seats a year.
BA says around 24,000 of its passengers a year are affected by overbooking.
Virgin Atlantic said one in every 10,000 passengers was involuntarily 'bumped', and that most preferred to accept as compensation their offer of a return ticket to any Virgin Atlantic destination.
A recent European Commission report, which examined the accountability of airlines, highlighted the lack of information relating to 'bumping'.
It said: 'Passenger dissatisfaction is not limited to delays. Complaints about air transport services have increased in recent years in areas of airline service quality other than punctuality, such as baggage handling and denied boarding.'

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Global Pinoys: The important lessons Pope Francis could teach Pinoy political and Church leaders!

1) To All Leaders: Have Integrity!
"It is now more than ever necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good." Pope Francis
Pope Francis In Tacloban amidst the storm
2) Lesson: P.Noy, show empathy with the poor.When was the last time you visited Tacloban?
3) Lesson: Binay, reject corruption, be honest!
“I hope that this prophetic summons will challenge everyone, at all levels of society, to reject every form of corruption which diverts resources from the poor, and to make concerted efforts to ensure the inclusion of every man and woman and child in the life of the community.
As many voices in your nation have pointed out, it is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good.” Pope Francis
4) Lesson: To ALL TRAPOS,You can't bring it with you!
“This life that you live now won’t give you pleasure. It won’t give you joy or happiness,” 
“Repent,” Pope Francis said in his most forceful denouncement of organized crime to date. “There’s still time to not end up in hell, which is what awaits you if you continue on this path.” 
5) Lesson:CBCP, repair the Church!
We need to avoid the spiritual sickness of a Church that is wrapped up in its own world: when a Church becomes like this, it grows sick. It is true that going out onto the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But if the Church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded Church that goes out onto the streets and a sick withdrawn Church, I would definitely choose the first one." Pope Francis
6) Lesson:Imelda Marcos, avoid scandalous display of wealth!
It bids us break the bonds of injustice and oppression which give rise to glaring, and indeed scandalous, social inequalities. Reforming the social structures which perpetuate poverty and the exclusion of the poor first requires a conversion of mind and heart.
Bishop Pabillo the spread of HIV is a symptom of deeper spiritual and moral disorders in society, adding that nine Filipinos are infected daily, and that 10 percent of those infected are overseas Filipino workers.
7 ) Lesson to Bishop Padillo:Who are we to judge?
Pope has sought to create a "culture of encounter" in which atheists and Catholics might come together. "Do good," he said memorably. "We will meet each other there." When he announced that he would canonize Pope John XXIII, the great reformer, on the same day as John Paul II, he emphasized continuity among all Catholics, even those of different factions. When asked about gay priests, he replied, "Who am I to judge?"
“Our President intends to kill 20 million children with a fountain pen…
to sign the RH bill into law” Archbishop Ramon Arguelles
8) Archbishop Arguelles: Be merciful!
Most recently, Pope Francis gave a long interview in which he articulated a new vision of the church that does seem revolutionary. In the West, reaction has focused on his statements about hot-button social issues. For example, he said, "the teaching of the church (on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception), for that matter, is clear ... (but) it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
Who can forget the "Pajero" bishops?
9) Lesson to all Pajero Bishops: Avoid flashy cars!
Pope Francis said  it pained him to see priests driving flashy cars, and told them to pick something more “humble”.
As part of his drive to make the Catholic Church more austere and focus on the poor, Francis told young and trainee priests and nuns from around the world that having the latest smartphone or fashion accessory was not the route to happiness.
“It hurts me when I see a priest or a nun with the latest model car, you can’t do this,” he said.
“A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world,” he said.
10 ) Lesson to pedophile priests:REPENT!
Pope Francis called the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal a "leprosy in our house"
The Pope allegedly said that one in 50 members of the clergy are pedophiles and that the Church’s sex abuse scandal is “a leprosy in our house.”
“The 2 percent of pedophiles are priests, and even bishops and cardinals,” the Pope reportedly said, according to a CBS News translation of an interview in La Repubblica. “And others, even more numerous, know about it but keep quiet. They punish without saying the reason why. I find this state of things untenable and it is my intention to confront it with the severity it requires.”

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bienvenido a Filipinas: Papa Francisco, Apostol de los Pobres

“In these moments of great suffering, don’t tire of saying, 'Why?' (Be) like children...and so attract the eyes of our Father for your people; draw the tenderness of the 'dad of heaven’ upon yourselves.  Be like the child when asking, ‘Why? Why?’” 
Pope Francis
2 Crónicas 7:14 Spanish
y se humilla mi pueblo sobre el cual es invocado mi nombre, y oran, buscan mi rostro y se vuelven de sus malos caminos, entonces yo oiré desde los cielos, perdonaré su pecado y sanaré su tierra.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
A trusted shepherd living the smell of sheep. 
Dear Jesus, please protect Pope Francis during his visit .
May your Angels and our people shield him from the evil ones.
Please make our beloved Pope, your repair man of The Church.
May the Pope be the moral exemplar to our  bishops and priests.
37 Entonces los justos le responderán diciendo: Señor, ¿cuándo te vimos hambriento, y te sustentamos, o sediento, y te dimos de beber?
38 ¿Y cuándo te vimos forastero, y te recogimos, o desnudo, y te cubrimos?
39 ¿O cuándo te vimos enfermo, o en la cárcel, y vinimos a ti?
40 Y respondiendo el Rey, les dirá: De cierto os digo que en cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos más pequeños, a mí lo hicisteis.
41 Entonces dirá también a los de la izquierda: Apartaos de mí, malditos, al fuego eterno preparado para el diablo y sus ángeles.
42 Porque tuve hambre, y no me disteis de comer; tuve sed, y no me disteis de beber;
43 fui forastero, y no me recogisteis; estuve desnudo, y no me cubristeis; enfermo, y en la cárcel, y no me visitasteis.
44 Entonces también ellos le responderán diciendo: Señor, ¿cuándo te vimos hambriento, sediento, forastero, desnudo, enfermo, o en la cárcel, y no te servimos?
45 Entonces les responderá diciendo: De cierto os digo que en cuanto no lo hicisteis a uno de estos más pequeños, tampoco a mí lo hicisteis.
46 E irán éstos al castigo eterno, y los justos a la vida eterna.
"44 Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 45"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46"These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Matthew 25:45
Pope Francis Message During The Yolanda Disaster
"I wish to express my closeness to the people of the Philippines and of that region. Unfortunately there are many victims and the damage is enormous. We pray now in silence ... for our brothers and sisters, and we will seek to also send concrete help." 
"Deseo asegurar mi cercanía a las poblaciones de Filipinas y de esa región, que fueron alcanzadas por el tremendo tifón. Lamentablemente, las víctimas son muchas y los daños enormes. Recemos en silencio a la Virgen por estos hermanos y hermanas nuestras, y tratemos de hacer llegar a ellos también nuestra ayuda concreta". Papa Francisco.
Papa Francisco, muchas, muchas gracias por los rezos y ayuda para los víctimas del tifon Yolanda!
Jesus tells his followers that whenever they help a person in need — “the least of my brothers and sisters” — they do it to him.
Love For The Poor
Many of the stories introducing Francis from his time as bishop focus on his love for Christ poor, for the simplicity of evangelical poverty, and for the poor themselves. They tell of his frequent visits to the slums of the city (by bus, of course) to be with his people there. In describing his choice of the name Francis he concluded: “How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!” He marries this love of poverty with a clear-sighted understanding of its birth from structures of injustice, pointing out that human rights are violated not only by physical and political violence, but “also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities.” From The Jesuit Post
Mateo 25:35-46
35 Porque tuve hambre, y me disteis de comer; tuve sed, y me disteis de beber; fui forastero, y me recogisteis;
36 estuve desnudo, y me cubristeis; enfermo, y me visitasteis; en la cárcel, y vinisteis a mí.
“There are many things that we cannot understand. When children begin to grow, they don't understand things and begin to ask questions of their father or mother.” Pope Francis