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9月30日のまにら新聞から

DOTr chief says 10-day time frame for PAL to settle debts remains

[ 357 words|2017.9.30|英字 (English) ]

The 10-day time frame of President Rodrigo Duterte for the Philippine Airlines to settle its debts with the Philippine government remains, said Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Friday.

In an interview with reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony of the common terminal for the rail systems in Quezon City, the DOTr chief said his office is studying the counter-proposal of PAL on how it would settle its supposed P7.28 billion unpaid navigational charges with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

"Allow us to talk first. They have a counter proposal," Tugade said.

When asked if the 10-day time frame that Duterte gave to PAL to pay its debts to the government remains, Tugade said, "yes."

Duterte, in a speech on September 26 during the 56th anniversary of the Philippine Constitution Association, warned PAL he would order the closure of its office at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal II if it fails to pay its charges for using the airport within 10 days.

He said the law should be followed. PAL is exclusively using the NAIA Terminal II.

Even if Duterte gave a warning to PAL, Tugade said the government would not harass anyone.

"No one will be allowed to take advantage (of the situation). The only consideration is the welfare of the majority, welfare of the Republic," he said.

In an earlier statement, PAL has said that it is willing to submit a compromise agreement to settle the issue.

In August 2016, the CAAP sent letters to PAL demanding payment of unpaid navigational charges in the amount of P6.63 billion. But Tugade's statement on Sept cited P7.28 billion as unpaid navigational fees and other charges.

PAL said the issue on alleged unpaid navigational charges involves complex legal issues which it has been trying to thresh out with the authority for years.

Duterte said the reason he did not accept contributions from businessmen when he was still campaigning for the presidency was because he did not want to be compromised.

Business tycoon Lucio Tan, owner of PAL, was one among those businessmen whom Duterte declined the offer to contribute on his campaign kitty. Celerina Monte/DMS