Gov’t signs air fare deal with Cebu Pacific

The government is set to save about P1 billion from official air travel expenses of government employees and officials through the government fare agreement (GFA).

“That’s our estimate by coming up with this agreement with major airlines…(The savings will be) used for other purposes,” Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno said during the signing ceremony for the pact with Cebu Pacific at the airline company’s office in Pasay City Monday.

The agreement between the Procurement Service, a Department of Budget and Management (DBM) attached agency, and Cebu Pacific will be utilized through the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS).

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It will give state workers discounted fares on official trips. Processing fees and rebooking fees will also be waived.

This is the second air fare agreement of the government with a privately-owned domestic airline company. Last April, DBM signed a similar deal with the Philippine Air Lines, but only for domestic air travel.

Diokno said a PhilGEPS survey in 2015 showed that airline tickets expenses is one of the top expenses of the government, thus, “it is expected that partnership with airlines will greatly improve government transactions for airline travel.”

“By harnessing the collective buying power of the government and establishing supply agreements with trusted suppliers, the government not only saves money but also standardizes a previously quite arbitrary sector or government purchases,” he said.

The DBM chief said Cebu Pacific’s online portal can be included in PhilGEPS website as early as January 2017.

“Ultimately, the Filipino taxpayers win by experiencing reduced transactions costs at a much more efficient pace,” he added.

Cebu Pacific President and CEO Lance Gokongwei, during the same briefing, said the transparent process using PhilGEPS will definitely be advantageous to the government.

“This is a huge step into our goal of getting the highest value for the hard-earned money of our Filipino taxpayers,” he added. (PNA)



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