PHILIPPINES — The Philippines on Thursday announced plans to phase in the outbound transport of services from three of its carriers to its outgoing carriers, a move that could hurt competition and drive up prices.
A government official said the move will allow Filipinos to access the international market faster and will help to strengthen connectivity, while the carriers say it will reduce costs for them.
The government has proposed to phase the out-bound transport in three phases: phase one will cover the first three years of the service, from 2018 to 2021, the official said, but the service would be phased out after that.
Phase two will cover 2020 to 2023, and phase three will cover 2023 to 2026.
The Philippines plans to make the transition to using its outsourced carriers as early as 2021.
It will allow the carriers to use their existing fleet of planes, ships, trains, aircraft and boats, including those operated by the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, the Manila-based transport association.
“This is the best way to ensure that Filipinos can access international services from our outsourced carrier,” said Philippine Ambassador to the United States David Armitage in a statement.
Puerto Rico will also transition to use the service by 2021.
Budget constraints and the U.S. administration’s response to hurricanes have slowed the process, said Luis Garcia, a spokesman for IATA.
The IATA is the international organization for the world’s airlines, and Puerto Rico’s status as a territory of the U., meaning it has the right to negotiate tariffs, the agency said.
There are currently over 800 flights from the Philippines to the U, and the carrier plans to add another 40 flights in the coming weeks, the Philippine government said in a press release.
It will take time to establish a reliable system, but we are confident in the potential of our carrier to serve the market,” Garcia said.