My first blog entry was about the discrimination and humiliation done by Cebu Pacific Airlines against Deaf passengers.This is an update of what the Persons with Disabilities sector has been doing in reference to this incident.
- The National Council on Disability Affairs Sub-committee on Accessibility are discussing the formal filing of official complaint directly against Cebu Pacific Airlines. Although the government agency was previously tasked to monitor the implementation of policies, they are now empowered to lead in such activities.
- Mr. Stephen Alcantara, Development Manager, Regional Office – CBM South East Asia and one of those people involved in this activity said,
The Transportation Summit people were also informed about the same. The representative of the Civil and Aeronautics Board (CAB) assured prompt action, only if the victims would formally file a complaint. While it is true that it would mean so much time and efforts, yet, if the victims will not make the initiatives, even interested and willing government people and advocates will not have the personality to move on these cases. Media reports are helpful but, if the victims will not pursue the case, no case can be processed.
- Because of the words spread through the Internet, another similar incident was reported in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. Ms. Katrina Segundo filed an official complaint enumerating her horrible experience with the Cebu Pacific Dumaguete City Branch in the afternoon of October 26 last year. Their office initially refused to issue her a Boarding Pass as they deemed her “Unfit To Travel Unaccompanied” . However, after hours of negotiation, and due to her knowing her rights, she refused to cede to their “Company Policy”, and was, on the last minute, allowed to board their aircraft.
- The UN-CRPD group is now working on the policy level, which in effect attempt to incorporate related CRPD provisions on transportation and accessibility.
I thought this incident is only isolated in the Philippines. I read from other bloggers related to disability that a similar incident happened involving Singapore owned Tiger Airways. A group of deaf people from Melbourne, Australia has launched a discrimination case against Tiger Airways after the budget carrier insisted they travel with a carer last April.
As I have mentioned before, a deaf person can travel alone and does not need an interpreter. I hope that Cebu Pacific would clarify their policy. What must be done is to create some sort of a response mechanism in order to address matters similar to this in a structured manner aimed at a long term solution.