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House to probe ticket pricing practices of domestic airlines

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The House Committees on trade and industry and  transportation  will investigate  in aid of legislation the prohibitive, unfair, and opportunistic pricing of domestic air carriers, specifically on the purchase of tickets that would fly on the same day, Rep. Ferjenel G. Biron of Iloilo, committee chairman, announced yesterday.

Rep. Biron, author of House  Resolution 267,   said  the Consumer Act  of the Philippines (Republic Act 7394), mandates  through the Department of Trade and Industry the protection of consumers against deceptive, unfair, and unconscionable sales acts or practices,  against misleading advertisements,  and against fraudulent sales promotions.

Rep. Biron also  cited the Civil Aeronautics  Act of the Philippines (RA 776) which mandates the Civil  Aeronautics  Board of the Department of Transportation  to regulate the economic aspect of aviation and develop and promote the air potential of the country with due regard to public interest and convenience.

The Iloilo solon pointed out that the Philippine aviation industry is under a liberalized regime where the dominance of low-cost carriers has dramatically expanded  resulting the unprecedented growth of domestic  air travel,  but the corresponding service of these domestic air carriers have deteriorated, undermining  public interest and convenience, he said.

Rep. Biron added that an air carrier ticket constitutes a contract of carriage between the air carrier and the passenger that creates an asymmetrical relationship that binds the passenger, to all the conditions and restrictions attached to the air carrier ticket on an all-or-nothing basis, including the reasonableness of the price of the ticket

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