THE Manila International Airport Authority is set to lift next month the financial burden imposed in 2015 by the previous Aquino administration on Overseas Filipino Workers.
MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said he will sign a Memorandum of Agreement on Wednesday together with representatives of different airlines, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Susan Ople Foundation and other OFW advocates. He said he came up with the decision to sign the MOA after working on the technical details in coordination with the international airlines.
The MOA, which will take effect next month, aims to stop the collection of the P550 terminal fees from departing OFWs.
The MIAA, during the last administration, integrated the cost of the international terminal fee on the cost of the airline tickets to alleviate the congestion problem in Manila airports. Under the old system, the OFWs can claim a refund of the terminal fee prior to their departure or upon their return at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Several OFW groups opposed the system claiming that it is a clear violation of the Migrant Workers Act of 1995 which exempts OFWs from paying the terminal fee.
Reports said more or less three million OFWs are working abroad and the total collections of the airport’s terminal fee has reached more than a billion pesos, and half of this amount remains unclaimed by OFWs.
Monreal noted that OFWs failed to claim their refund due to their limited time in lining up at the departure refund counters. He added MIAA is ready to refund the fees to OFWs as long as they possess the e-ticket, boarding pass and passport.
The P550 terminal fee collected by the airport collected is used for the continuing operations of airports.