The Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) is set to hear on July 10 petitions for airlines to renew fuel surcharges. Airlines claim they need the add-on charges to help them pay for rising aviation fuel costs, amid the surge in world oil prices.
In a press statement sent June 27, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel has cautioned the Board against hastily authorizing commercial airlines to impose fuel surcharges on passengers.
“The last time the CAB allowed fuel surcharges, airlines were collecting anywhere from ₱500 per domestic passenger to $400 (P21,388, based on the current Peso-Dollar exchange rate of P53.34:$1) per international passenger,” Pimentel, House transportation committee member, said.
“The CAB should hold the horses for now. It is a bit premature for the extra charges,” Pimentel said.
The additional charges would most likely be passed on to the estimated 25 million Filipinos relying on domestic air travel every year, Pimentel disclosed.
He added that the fuel surcharge would also weigh heavily on the 7,000 Filipino contract workers–new hires as well as rehires–leaving the country every day for overseas employment.
Pimentel said airlines were still in a position to absorb the higher fuel costs.