Press Release
February 9, 2015

Senate panel to MIAA: Suspend Memorandum Circular No. 8
collecting terminal fees from OFWs

A Senate panel hearing the resolution on the memorandum circular directing the integration of terminal fees into airline tickets at point of sale pushed for the suspension of its implementation pending the creation of a computer program that will automatically exempt overseas Filipino workers from paying terminal fees.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, who was designated to head the Committee on Public Services Sub-Committee "E" hearing on Proposed Senate Resolution No. 1015, was joined by Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano, Senators Nancy Binay and Koko Pimentel during the committee hearing.

The resolution, authored by Pimentel, directs the Senate to conduct an inquiry on the implementation of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Memorandum Circular No. 8 Series of 2014, integrating the International Passenger Service Charge or terminal fee into all airline tickets.

Villar said she is not against any change that would put things in order such as the contention of MIAA in coming up with the Memorandum Circular - "to address the congestion in all NAIA terminals with the increasing volume of passengers."

"However, if the change would affect the rights of a vulnerable and valuable sector such as our OFWs or migrant workers, then we have to exhaust all efforts to further look into these and find ways on how to remedy it or improve the mechanism of its implementation so as not to unnecessarily inconvenience our OFWs," she added.

During the hearing, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said he is open to sit down with airline consultants that will work on a computer software that will in effect honor the exemption of OFWs from paying the 550 terminal fee as granted by the law.

Villar also said she will author a resolution to be signed by all senators requesting MIAA to recall the implementation of MC 8 until after MIAA and stakeholders have come up with a computer solution that will automatically grant the exemption for OFWs.

Republic Act 8042 as amended by RA 10022, or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 provides that OFWs are exempted from paying the travel tax and airport fees.

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