Monday, April 9, 2012

Trending and Philippine Airport Fees

During our vacation, I was asking my partner what trending meant and all that hashtag (#) hallubaloo on Twitter. Well he patiently explained it to me and thank you for that explanation. When I got the hang of it, the trending topics on various threads were uhmmm, sad to say, pathetic.

And while technology has caught up with the Pinoys (or for the people on Earth for that matter), the local "Tweets" that were being followed were obscurely for the most inconsequential topics. Yes, technology has changed the face of the world - sadly, it has increased the IQs of most of the people who use technology for better use.

Let's use the Philippine Airport Fees as an issue. I'm not the only one that complains about the airport taxes. Most of my friends have the same complaint - "why inconvenience the riding public by collecting Airport Fees at the airport?" It's actually a simple solution - "integrate it to our airline tickets!" For God's sake, it's not even rocket science. Even if people say that the airport fees vary from Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao at P200.00 for domestic flights and Tagbilaran, Batanes, or Jolo at P20.00 for domestic flights - you can easily calculate this because you know the route the passenger takes anyway!!! And you can even standardize it - that all domestic flights to ONE destination is P100.00 or P200.00 is the same, regardless of destination! If you can afford to fly - you can afford the Airport Fee!

It has always baffled me why this issue cannot be solved. Someone told me that the reason for this is so that the local authorities can collect their share IMMEDIATELY. Which means that based on that reasoning - the problem is the government (Unless of course there is another or a more valid reason for collection ON THE SPOT). The government apparently has no system that will remit ON TIME the collections for that particular province that has an airport! That's what the national government is for - to provide solutions to its citizens.

Collecting airport taxes is NOT the issue. It's how it's done ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES, that makes it ubiquitously odd. Where does the collection go to and is there any transparent accountability by the local government on the airport fees that are collected? None! With so many domestic airports in the Philippines, does the Commission on Audit even report on the accountability of all these collected fees? You can see how dilapidated and outdated some of the provincial airports are. And yet, they collect airport fees. For what?!?!

The power of technology (and media) has changed the landscape of how we look at issues. Unfortunately, the issues on the hotdog of Aljur Abrenica or Anabelle Rama vs. Amalia Fuentes or Charice getting a makeover or even Grace Lee dating the PNoy are not even a national one. It's just sad that in spite of the digital age, technology has not provided a means to increase the brain capacity of its people.

Obviously, this blog piece will not get a viral hit compared to even Pinoy Porn scandals. It's this kind of thought on using the power of technology through Twitter or Facebook or whatever site that makes changing the world and making it a better place and getting our message across the universe that will create an impact on issues at hand.

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