Update on Cebu Pacific discrimination on deaf passengers: Court case filed and policy changes

Cebu Pacific not accepting disabled persons
Here are the updates of the recent Cebu Pacific incident of not accepting deaf passengers:

  • Last December 6, Mr. Nonoy Concha, another disabled passenger, after attending a seminar here in Manila, was asked to disembark the plane to Cebu for refusing to sign an outdated waiver. What was amiss was that from Cebu Airport Terminal he was not asked to sign the document which he finds as ancient as Wright Brothers.
  • A group of Filipino PWDs led by Mr. Jesus Jose Docot, Vice Chairman of Alyansa ng mga May Kapansanang Pinoy (AKAP-Pinoy) are planning to stage a simultaneous mass rally in Manila, Cebu and Davao seeking to address their grievance against the discrimination they experienced in boarding Cebu Pacific. The group also want people to stop patronizing Cebu Pacific unless they recognize the basic human rights of every passenger, disabled or not. They encourage everyone who sympathize with them to come and join in this activity.
  • Ms. Katrina Segundo, a blind and crippled passenger, together with her parents, filed a formal complaint to the Hall of Justice in Dumaguete City against Cebu Pacific Airlines for Discrimination Against a Person With Disability last November 17, 2008. She was assisted by the Provincial Head of the Commission on Human Rights. Her complaint was about the incident where the company refused her to board their plane in October 26 last year.
  • For their part, Ms. Jocelyn Bonilla of Voluntary Service Overseas Philippines will do the following: They will send a letter of complaint to Cebu Pacific, publicize in the VSOPH and VSO web pages their discontent of this situation and will not patronize Cebu Pacific’s services indefinitely.
  • Dr. Liza Martinez of Philippine Deaf Resource Center sent this update through the This_abled_phils Yahoo group. She said that after three letters to Cebu Pacific CEO Lance Gokongwei in a span of seven months, they made a revision of their Operations Manual that Deaf passengers (of an unlimited number) shall be allowed carriage on their flights. They have also made recommendations for a change in policy with the Air Transportation Office (as of June). She has not received confirmation from them that this has actually taken place. Dr. Martinez’ group are also still hammering away at them trying to get reimbursement on the deductions from their refund (totalling about P4,000). She sent the most recent letter last month and have not heard back.

Let us remain vigilant in our fight against discrimination. 🙂

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