Bello orders airlines to stop collecting travel tax, terminal fees from OFWs
LABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello III today ordered airlines to stop including the travel tax and airport terminal fees in the cost of their tickets for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
In a letter to Director General Jim Sydiongco of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Bello said OFWs are exempted from paying travel tax and terminal fees under the amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995.
“It has come to my attention that the travel tax and terminal fees are being included in the cost of the airline tickets issued to our OFWs. While some OFWs were refunded of these fees at the airport prior to their departure, most of them, however, were not refunded because of lack of awareness about this privilege or lack of time to process their claim for refund,” Bello said.
He also requested the CAAP to remit the travel tax and terminal fees that were not refunded to the OFWs to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
“Considering that the inclusion of these travel tax and terminal fees in the cost of tickets has been a practice of airline companies for several years, we request that the travel tax and fees collected from our OFWs which were not refunded to them be remitted to the OWWA,” Bello said.
The Labor chief also instructed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and OWWA to coordinate with CAAP and the Manila International Airport Authority to immediately come up with a mechanism for the automatic exemption of OFWs in paying of travel tax and terminals.
In his letter, Bello requested the CAAP to tell government offices in various airport terminals to cease and desist from collecting tax and terminal fees from OFWs.
Bello’s letter was also sent to the following airlines: Air Asia, Air Asia Zesr, Air China, Air Niugini, All Nippon Airways, Aiana Airline, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacifir Air, China Airline, China Eastern Airline, China Southern Airlines, Delta Air, DragonAir, Emirates Airlines, Ethiopian Airline, Etihad, Eva Air, Gulf Air, JapanAirlines, Jeju Air, Jet Star Asia, Jin Air, KLM Royal Duth Airlines,Kuwait Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Mandarine Airlines, Oman Air, PAL Express, Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airlines Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei, Saudia Airlines, Skyjet, Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, Thai Airways, Tiger Air, Tiger Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines.