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Scrapping OFW airport terminal fee lauded

Two lady senators – Cynthia A. Villar and Nancy Binay – welcomed yesterday the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MoA) scrapping the payment of airport terminal fees by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other persons exempted by the law.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and representatives from 40 air carriers signed last Wednesday the agreement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

Under the agreement, OFWs, and other exempted persons, will not have to pay the R550 International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC), or the R200 Domestic Passenger Service Charge (DPSC) upon face-to-face purchase of tickets here or abroad starting April 30, 2017. Exemption for online ticket purchase will start on July 31, 2017.

“This is a welcome development, a step in the direction of streamlining the processes our OFWs have to go through at our airports. It has always been my position that the integration of terminal fees in plane tickets doesn’t have to be done in a way that will inconvenience and violate the rights of our OFWs,” Villar said.

Villar also took note of reports saying that some R1.5 billion worth of terminal fees was unclaimed by OFWs and exempted individuals.

Binay said the fee should never have been shouldered by OFWs in the first place. (Mario Casayuran)