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Exit fee at airports dropped for Filipinos

First Posted 07:44:00 05/04/2009

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MANILA, Philippines?Bureau of Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other ports have been ordered to stop collecting a P1,200 exit fee from departing Filipino passengers who hold foreign passports.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said he issued the directive on April 17 following complaints from Filipino travelers who were made to pay the exit fee after they presented their foreign passports to immigration counters at the NAIA.

Such travelers, Libanan said, were either former natural-born Filipinos who reacquired their Philippine citizenship under the dual citizenship act or foreigners who were recognized as Filipinos under the 1935 and 1987 Constitutions.

?It is not right to collect exit fees from these passengers who, even if they are holders of foreign passports, are actually Filipinos entitled to all the rights and privileges of a Philippine citizen,? Libanan said.

In his order, Libanan also directed immigration officers ?not to collect exit fees from departing passengers who are holders of BI-issued identification certificates even if they are using foreign passports.?

An identification certificate is issued by the BI to a foreigner who has been granted dual citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225 or whose petition for recognition as a Philippine citizen has been approved by the BI and affirmed by the Department of Justice.

Jerome Aning

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