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Buhay Pinay




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No more terminal fee for departing OFWs…finally

22 March 2017

Familiar sight at the NAIA Terminal 3 is a queue of OFWs trying to revoer the terminal fee collected from them when they bought their tickets.

At long last, airlines will no longer be collecting the P550 terminal fee from departing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) beginning April.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has finalized the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with airline companies to implement the exemption of OFWs from the payment of airport terminal fee, which was imposed in 2015.

MIAA General Manager Ed Montreal said the MOA was scheduled for signing on March 15 and will take effect next month.

Montreal said his office took time working on technical details and coordinating with international airlines in eliminating the P550 terminal fee.

Representatives of airline companies, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Susan Ople Foundation and other OFW advocates were expected to witness the signing.

The MIAA had imposed the integration of international terminal fee in airline tickets in 2015 purportedly to ease congestion in Manila airports.

The regulation required OFWs to pay the P550 terminal fee when buying plane tickets online or from airline ticket offices.

They can claim a refund prior to their departure from or upon their return to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

OFW groups strongly opposed the imposition, saying it was a clear violation of the Migrant Workers Act of 1995 that exempts the OFWs from paying the terminal fee.

Reports said more or less three million OFWs are working abroad and a total of more than a billion pesos in terminal fee that had been collected remains unclaimed by the OFWs.

Montreal said the OFWs fail to claim their refund because they have little time to line up at the departure refund counters as they have to catch their flights.

The MIAA will still refund the terminal fee as long as the OFWs are able to present their e-ticket, boarding pass and passport.

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