BIZ BUZZ: Safer PH skies | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Safer PH skies

/ 04:20 AM February 28, 2022

Every now and then, mishaps occur in the Philippines which leave a lot of unanswered questions about the ability of short-staffed regulators to police the ranks of the country’s growing aviation industry.

Poor pilot training, unscrupulous aircraft operators, substandard and fake aircraft parts and poor maintenance practices are only some of the issues that Filipinos have to face especially when flying with smaller outfits.


But the Philippines may soon see safer skies thanks to a measure that’s being backed by the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA).

Biz Buzz learned that AsBAA—the local chapter headed by commercial pilot and flight instructor Patrick Roa—has been lobbying Congress for the creation of what it tentatively called the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB).


An equivalent of the US National Transportation Safety Board, the PTSB as envisioned by its proponents will be an organization that is independent of the Department of Transportation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). Like its US model, PTSB will “carry out independent accident investigation to facilitate the continued, sustainable growth of the Philippine’s aviation industry and economy,” according to AsBAA.

This is especially important when investigating incidents that may have been caused by poor regulation, which would put an organization like CAAP in a conflict of interest position.

At present, there are two bills in Congress that, if signed into law, would create the much needed PTSB. The new organization would be directly under the Office of the President.

But will these important bills make it through the legislative mill on time, given that elections are just a few months away? Abangan!

—Daxim L. Lucas

Job application scams

There’s an interesting indicator showing the airline sector is healing: the sudden rise of scams targeting unwitting job applicants and passengers.

This has been a problem especially for local carriers Philippine Airlines (PAL) and AirAsia Philippines, prompting them to issue separate advisories warning the public to be vigilant and not to fall for these schemes.

Travel bans and news of layoffs during the pandemic might have pushed job seekers to consider more grounded careers. But the rapid recovery in the sector is luring back applicants and swindlers alike.


AirAsia Philippines said this involved bogus job offers in exchange for money.

“We’d like to inform the public that it is not part of AirAsia’s policy to ask money in exchange for job offers. Legit job openings are offered through the AirAsia website and other partner employment sites,” an AirAsia Philippines spokesperson said.

PAL is likewise dealing with a host of fake promos and free gifts on spoof websites and social media pages.

“These bogus website and pages aim to lure and mislead you into thinking they are official airline promotion sites,” PAL said.

It turns out these are elaborate schemes to steal personal information, including sensitive bank account details.

“PAL tickets are sold through our official website, our contact center hotlines and ticketing offices or via authorized travel agencies,” PAL said.

The scammer indicator is not ideal but it certainly provides insights into current trends.

If only the indicator could be retooled for the current presidential campaign season, it might impart a similar sense of awareness and save the public from making an even costlier mistake than a fake plane ticket.

—Miguel R. Camus

Governance champ

Business tycoon Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, a.k.a. “JAZA” in corporate Philippines, got another feather in his cap as he was inducted “Honorary Fellow” by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD).

This is the highest conferment given by the ICD, reserved only to a handful of distinguished personalities for their significant contribution to corporate governance advocacy.

The chair of the country’s oldest business house, Ayala Corp., was cited for his “lifelong commitment to promoting the highest standards of governance among Philippine corporations.”

“JAZA has shown the light to all the governance principles with their associated best practices demanded by the imperative of attaining the aspirations of Filipinos under Dream Philippines by 2040 … We wish to be guided by such light, and by the lifelong example Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala has been giving us,” Jesus Estanislao, ICD founder and chair emeritus said during the conferment on Wednesday.

Ayala has two out of five honorary fellows in ICD. Zobel joins Antonino Aquino, former president and CEO of Ayala Land. Aquino is director of Ayala Land since April 2009 and Manila Water Co. since 1998.

The three other honorary fellows are former central bank governor and Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr., Cesar Saldaña and former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr.

In his acceptance speech, Zobel vowed to continue implementing the highest standard of governance across the Ayala group. He said private companies were playing a huge role in building a more equitable and truly progressive capitalist system for the greater good.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla INQ

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