PJ Garcia files ‘Passengers' Rights’ bill in Congress

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CEBU Representative Pablo John “PJ” Garcia (Cebu, Third District) has filed a bill mandating the posting of passengers’ bill of rights in areas in air and seaports where the public can easily view them.

In a statement sent to Cebu media on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, Garcia said he filed House Bill (HB) 3654, or the Informed Passenger Act before Congress on Tuesday, August 16.

Garcia said he filed the bill in order to step up current measures to ensure travelers' rights and to prevent "dreaded scenes" in the country's air and seaports, such as long queues, delayed and canceled flights, passengers being bumped off, and delayed or lost baggage return together with passenger travel.

HB 2654 also bolsters administrative orders already previously issued by the former Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) by mandating that “clear, usable, concise and easy to understand” copies of passengers’ list of rights be posted areas like in ticket offices, check in counters, departure waiting lounges, boarding gates and baggage claim areas.

The same information is also to be posted in online platforms of all persons and companies operating air and sea ports, passenger carriers and all others engaged in the transportation business.

It also tasks the Department of Transportation to conduct a regular nationwide information campaign through all forms of media, including social media about passengers’ bill of rights.

Penalties

HB 3654 provides a penalty of P100,000 to P500,000 for violators. “In the case of publicly operated airports and seaports, the general manager shall be principally liable.”

Garcia said the bill aims to “improve the quality of service and upgrade passenger experience” both in air and sea travel. (JKV/PR)