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Biz Buzz: Tiger’s woes

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Biz Buzz: Tiger’s woes

/ 11:33 PM July 10, 2011

The Australian operations of Tiger Airways were recently suspended by that country’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority after the regulator discovered several safety violations of the budget carrier.

The airline’s operations out of Singapore—from where flights to and from the Philippines originate—have not been suspended, but questions are already being asked both here and abroad as to the safety and reliability of the entire Tiger group.

The problems at its Australian unit were apparently so bad that it prompted regulators to issue an unusually long flying ban (or until August 1), while its Australian CEO was recently fired and replaced with the CEO of its Singapore unit, Tony Davis.

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The question on everyone’s mind now is if Philippine regulators will continue to allow Tiger to fly in and out of the country—including a new Singapore-Cebu service slated for launch in September—without subjecting it to a safety review. Let’s see.—Daxim L. Lucas

4-0 for Chavez

The public spat between former Solicitor General Frank Chavez and the lawyers of the Villaraza Marcelo Cruz & Angangco Law Office (a.k.a. “The Firm”) shows no signs of abating, with the former recently pointing out that he had recently “scored” against his legal nemesis.

Speaking to Biz Buzz, Chavez pointed out that four of the five libel cases filed against him by The Firm in various courts around the country have so far been dismissed, with only one complaint yet to be resolved.

These developments notwithstanding, Chavez pointed out that The Firm’s partners have filed another five libel complaints against him using the very same issues raised in their earlier complaints. This prompted him to lodge disbarment cases against the five complainants from The Firm for the “harassment” they’re allegedly inflicting on him.

Both parties, of course, have a long history of animosity, with the most recent episode being Chavez’s accusation against The Firm’s partners last year for allegedly trying to ingratiate themselves with the Aquino administration. Expect the fireworks to continue.—Daxim L. Lucas

Team Roxas at DoTC

Transportation Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II spent his first week in office attending meeting after meeting and nearly drowning in paperwork during his free time.

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Of course, most industry stakeholders are waiting for his list of appointments to replace the team that his predecessor Jose “Ping” de Jesus brought to the DoTC. Among those rumored to be joining Roxas’ team as undersecretary is civil engineer Jose Aliling, the current chairman of North Luzon Railways Corp. He was appointed to his current post last January and currently heads the team seeking better terms for the controversial NorthRail project.

Another likely appointee is businessman and lawyer Rene Limcaoco, owner of the company that distributes Nissan and General Motors cars in the Philippines. The Limcaocos also own the Old Swiss Inn restaurants in Manila.

Next on the list is lawyer Juju Lotilla, a senior partner at Sycip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan Law Offices, and completing the team is former Defense Undersecretary Antonio C. Santos Jr., who served during the term of former Defense Secretary Avelino “Nonong” Cruz.

All four have been with Roxas, listening to presentations by the heads of the DoTC’s different attached agencies.

They are rumored to be in line to replace Undersecretaries Dante M. Velasco, Ruben Reinoso and Glicerio Sicat. The fourth member of the Team De Jesus—Undersecretary Aristotle Batuhan—has not publicly signified his intention to resign.

President Aquino is expected to sign their appointment papers this week.—Paolo Montecillo

UNO complaints piling on

Worried parents from provinces as far away as Zamboanga are concerned over the alleged unethical recruitment tactics of Unlimited Network of Opportunities International Corp., or UNO, a controversial multi-level marketing company with its head office along Ortigas Avenue in San Juan City.

Parents claim that students—including some minors—are being pressured to pawn their mobile phones and other possessions to be able to afford UNO’s starter kit of P7,300 and become a member.

UNO, whose vision is to be “the No. 1 network marketing opportunity in the world” with the mission “to provide the best products and services,” however, is not a member of the Direct Selling Association of the Philippines, according to DSAP chairman Ador Bonquin.

Membership in DSAP, whose members include top multi-level marketing companies in the Philippines such as Avon, Tupperware and Amway, is not automatic as it involves a rigorous selection process, with prospective members required to submit their compensation system and product list.

This lengthy application process assures the public that if you’re a member of DSAP, then you’re a legitimate multi-level marketing company and not a pyramiding firm.—Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Tanduay Museum

Tycoon Lucio Tan-led Tanduay Holdings Inc. is in talks with the Department of Tourism to open a museum on its Quiapo property as part of walking tours in Manila currently being developed.

The museum will showcase Tanduay’s heritage as a distillery, having been set up in 1854, and likewise feature the sugar industry, which is linked to the liquor business. About 3,000 square meters of the property will be developed into the museum. As part of the display, Tanduay will reconstruct its old distillery.

The concept is similar to the Heineken museum in Amsterdam and the wine-making museums in France.—Doris C. Dumlao

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TAGS: Air Transport, appointments, Department of Transportation and Communications, Frank Chavez, libel, Manuel Roxas II, museum, Philippines, safety, Tanduay, Tourism
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