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PH government is finally talking the talk and walking the walk

Photo © http://www.pinoy-ofw.com
Photo © http://www.pinoy-ofw.com

AFTER years of platitude and empty flattery, the Philippine government has taken a concrete step to recognize the heroism of Overseas Filipino Workers by outrightly exempting them from paying the airport terminal fee upon their departure. The exemption will be effective starting March.

Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal on Monday told members of the Samahang Plaridel during news forum at the Manila Hotel that OFWs will no longer pay the terminal fee.

Under the current setup, OFW’s, although exempt from paying the terminal fee, still have to pay the P550 terminal fee, otherwise known as International Passenger Service Charge, upon buying their plane tickets because the terminal fee is automatically included in the price of the airline ticket. The OFW will then have to file for a refund and queue at the airport prior to departure to collect the fee refund.

The reason for the inclusion of the IPSC to the plane ticket price was to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) pre-departure areas. However, this intent to decongest the airport was defeated since the OFW’s concerned will still have to queue at the airport to claim their refund upon their departure.

Moreover, Monreal also disclosed that aside from making unnecessary burden for the OFWs. the IPSC was implemented by the previous Aquino administration despite the opposition of the members of congress.

Airport source told Beyond Deadlines that more than a billion pesos have been collected since the inclusion of terminal fee in the airline ticket and half of this amount remains unclaimed by some OFWs which remains in the general fund of the NAIA.

Monreal said those who were not able to get their refunds could just go to his office as long as they have the proper documentation.

Filipino workers abroad has been keeping the Philippine economy afloat by sending billions of dollars in remittances despite the constant humiliation and abuse from unscrupulous foreign employers.

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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