DOTr boasts of PH airports' 'punctuality' in global poll – but poll says otherwise

REANGLED? The Department of Transportation in a news release proudly claims that Philippine airports were awarded a star on punctuality. Rappler file photo

REANGLED? The Department of Transportation in a news release proudly claims that Philippine airports were awarded a star on punctuality.

Rappler file photo

Not all starred ratings point to a stellar performance.

On Friday, November 19, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) proudly released the results of the latest Official Aviation Guide (OAG) rankings of airports' punctuality worldwide. 

"GOOD NEWS: 8 PH airports awarded with On-Time Performance Star Ratings," the DOTr boasted through a press statement mailed to the media and posted on their Facebook page.

The Transportation Department failed to include, however, that all the Philippine airports listed garnered only one-star ratings, which means they were among the least punctual in the world.

In their press release, they only attached the list of one-star airports, omitting hundreds of others with higher ratings (2 stars to 5 stars).

Therefore, the government said Iloilo International Airport was "ranked 14th place" – when in fact, it was ranked 455th.

Out of 489 airports ranked, the 8 Philippine airports are in the bottom 35:

Below the rankings, the OAG explains their rating system: "The Star Ratings range from one to five stars. Airlines and airports with the best on-time performance, for example, the top 10%, receive five stars. The awards are then distributed, across all airlines with the poorest performers receiving one star."

Reached for comment, the DOTr, in a statement, pointed to a silver lining.

They said that 2017 is the first year that Philippine airports made it to the list. To be included, airports must have a minimum of 600 operations a month (minimum of 2.5 million departed seats), and OAG must receive flight status information of at least 80% of scheduled flights within a year. (READ: NAIA no longer among 'worst airports' – survey)

"[We are] hoping by next year we will reach category 2 [stars] as our airports are now being improved by DOTr both operations, service, and infrastructures," their statement read.

Communications officer Goddess Libiran also told Rappler in a text message that they are reminded by a rallying call by their Secretary Arthur Tugade.

"We know that there's a lot to do. We will not rest until we become one of the better airports, and soon, best," she said. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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