THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) clarified the call of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) for it to refund the P500 million terminal fees and travel taxes paid by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) departing from the country’s international airports.
CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said the agency collects terminal fees only at seven international airports, namely: Puerto Princesa, Davao, General Santos, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Kalibo and Laoag, which are seldom used by OFWs in leaving for their destinations abroad.
The CAAP is an attached agency of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), just like separate airport authorities like the Manila International Airport Authority which operates the NAIA Terminals, Clark, Mactan-Cebu and Lalo (Cesa). These authorities have their own refund procedures.
Apolonio said travel taxes are normally included in the ticket fare and are collected by TIEZA, not CAAP.
CAAP also said that Section 22 of Republic Act 10022 provides that “all laws to the contrary notwithstanding, the migrant workers shall be exempt from the payment of travel tax and airport fee upon proper showing of proof of entitlement by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.”
“POEA- registered OFWs are exempt from terminal fees. However, in terms of implementation, the OFW must personally claim for the refund because the point of sale cannot recognize if the purchaser is an OFW or not. This is complicated further because it is the airlines that collect terminal fees,” the CAAP said.