Miaa to proceed with integrating Naia terminal fee in air fare on Oct. 1
MANILA, Philippines—Despite the opposition from overseas Filipino workers’ groups and recruiting agencies, the Manila International Airport Authority is going ahead with its plan to integrate the terminal fee into the cost of airline tickets beginning Oct. 1.
But Jose Angel Honrado, the Miaa general manager, said the agency has always been open to suggestions for improving its systems and would continue to be so.
“No system is perfect. This is why we are not closing the door to possible improvements. For now, we are determined to proceed, observe and see later on how else we can enhance it to settle all stakeholders’ concerns,” Honrado said in a statement.
The main argument for integrating the terminal fee into the airline ticket is to ease the check-in process. The Miaa has noted that some 7 million passengers have to queue to pay for the terminal fee at the Naia.
From Oct. 1, all international airline tickets will include the cost of the P550 international passenger service charge (IPSC), better known as the terminal fee.
“We are happy that finally, we are raising Naia’s level of service to be at par with its counterparts abroad,” Honrado said.
He said the integration would be implemented simultaneously by all airlines worldwide and would cover passengers transiting Manila to any destination point.
The process will go through a transition period and is expected to be fully implemented by October 2015, when all tickets purchased or issued prior to Oct. 1, 2014, shall have been flown.
Under the scheme, air carriers would collect the terminal fee through its inclusion in the airline ticket, said Honrado.
But certain groups and individuals will still be exempted from paying the fee as mandated by law, including overseas Filipino workers, Muslim pilgrims endorsed by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), athletes endorsed by the Philippine Sports Commission and others authorized by the Office of the President.
To enjoy the exemption, OFWs have to submit a certificate issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or the Miaa.
Children aged two years and below are also exempted from paying the fee.
Those entitled to exemptions may refund the terminal fee if at the time of purchase, they could not present an exemption certificate.
This has been a point of contention for OFW groups and recruitment firms opposing the move.
Party-list group OFW Family party-list suggested that that airline ticketing offices should instead be allowed to make paying the terminal fee optional for travelers.
“We support the call to scrap this policy and instead have the Department of Transportation and Communications and Manila International Airport Authority to find other means to make the procedures at the airport more efficient, particularly at the immigration counters where most of the long queues are concentrated,” said OFW Family representative Roy Señeres.
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