(Photo by Celeste Anna Formoso)

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has requested that the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) take action over the high cost of airline tickets for flights to Coron.

Board Member Roseller Pineda expressed disbelief over the high cost of travel to Coron in comparison to other locations.

During its regular session last Tuesday, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed the resolution of the Committee on Public Works, Transportation, and Communications to investigate airline firms over airfare and to urge the assistance of the DOT and CAAP.

Pineda stated that during the committee meeting last week, only a representative from Cebu Pacific Air was present, who emphasized that the high price is due to the frequency of flights and the rising fuel costs.

“But if we will check, only Coron has a high airfare compared to other destinations,” Pineda said. “Yung sa frequency of flights naman, until now ay walang (runway) lights kaya hindi makapag-land ang mga eroplano pag gabi.”

“That’s why we are appealing to the DOT to intervene because as we all know, we have a projection of 5 million tourist arrivals, and to the CAAP to fast track the improvement of the airport and make its operation 24 hours,” he added.

He further explained that the problem has affected the locals particularly those in the tourism industry who had to adjust their prices only to attract more tourists.

“Ang naiipit diyan ay yung mga locals dahil sa sobrang taas ng pamasahe ang gagawin bababaan ang presyo ng serbisyo, bababa din yung quality. At yung mga travel agency, pagdating sa quotation ng tours ay walang problema pero pag nag-submit ng quotation ng airfare, nagba-backout na ang travelers,” he said.