IT’S A DEAL | DOTr, PAL clinch and reconcile on P6B fees

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PAL Airbus A330
PAL Airbus A330 aircraft in flight. HANDOUT PHOTO

MANILA – The Department of Transportation on Friday accepted the offer of Philippine Airlines to pay “in full” its obligations to the government in unpaid navigational fees and other liabilities.

PAL’s “offer” came about after the Duterte administration threatened legal action against the national flag carrier.

President Rodrigo Duterte had threatened to close off Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 2 that PAL has been using exclusively for the past 18 years if the arrears are not settled.

DOTr reckoned that PAL owes the government some P7.3 billion as of the third week of September. These fees are payable to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and the Manila International Airport Authority.

In a joint statement issued on Friday, “DOTr accepted the offer of PAL to pay in full the P6 billion claims of the CAAP/MIAA, and PAL commits to keep all transactions updated and current with the CAAP/MIAA.

“After several months of validation and reconciliation of accounts, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) are pleased to announce that they have reached a resolution on the CAAP and MIAA fees issue.

“The DOTr has accepted the offer of PAL to pay in full the P6B claims of the CAAP/MIAA, and PAL commits to keep all transactions updated and current with the CAAP/MIAA.

“One of the overriding reasons why PAL agreed to settle is to manifest its trust and confidence in President Duterte’s administration.

“PAL assured the government and the traveling public that it will continuously provide its vital airline operations in the service of the Filipino people.”