HONGKONG: Pinoys in HK hit inclusion of P550 terminal fee in plane fares

Sunday 28 September 2014

Date: 23 September 2014

Type: News

Source: GMA News Online

Keywords: Migrants, OFW

HONG KONG — Filipinos working here have lambasted the automatic inclusion of P550 terminal fee in airline tickets.

In a statement, the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-Migrante-HK) said the fee "is an unnecessary inconvenience and will further legitimize paying for the useless overseas employment certificate or the EOC."

Under Republic Act 10022 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, OFWs are exempted from paying the terminal fees.

The Manila International Airport Authority signed an agreement on July 1 with airlines flying international routes to and from the Philippines to include the terminal fee to the costs of airline tickets.

The new policy—which seeks to address the complains of long queues in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the fee is presently collected manually in airport counters—will be implemented on October 1.

Airport authorities said OFWs may refund the fee in the Philippines by showing proof such as the overseas employment contract and or travel exit clearance to refund counters to be located after the immigration counters in airport terminals or at the MIAA Administration Office.

However, Dolores Balladares, chairperson of the UNIFIL-Migrante-HK, said, "With such additional hassle," many OFWs would be forced to forfeit the reimbursement "which will be added to government earnings."

"This is a way of the government to make the OEC an indispensable document for OFWs in the face of the growing call for its abolition," she said.

Balladares described the OEC as "another useless document that we pay for as a proof that we are OFWs to get us exempted from paying the travel tax and terminal fee."

"This is redundant as we already have working visa in our passport and our contract that should be proofs enough,” she said. —CA/KBK, GMA News

See online : GMA News Online

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