Recto wants use of travel tax, other fees to improve NAIA
MANILA, Philippines—Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto is proposing the use of travel tax and other fees collected from passengers to improve the security and condition of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Recto specifically pointed to the fees being collected by three government agencies – the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)—which he said derive much of their combined annual P16.billion income from NAIA.
Even a fraction of the fees paid by passengers and planes to these three agencies for use of NAIA, he said, will be enough to install “clean toilets, CCTVs and comfortable couches” in its four terminals.
“If a mall charges a mere P10 for the use of a hotel-like toilet, I can’t see why a Filipino travelling abroad who pays P550 in terminal fee and P1,620 in travel tax should be entitled to less,” Recto said in a statement on Tuesday.
In 2012, MIAA posted a gross operating income of P8.28 billion and a net income after tax of P2.64 billion. Of its gross, he said, P3.3 billion came from “toll and terminal fees” paid by departing passengers, who cough up P550 if bound for abroad, and P200 if headed for domestic destinations.
Recto said 2012 was also a banner year for another TIEZA, which raked in P3.5 billion in “travel tax” levied on 2,271,468 departing passengers.
Its collection, he said, would have been higher if not for the exemption granted by law to overseas Filipino workers, 443,868 of whom were reported to have exited in 2012.
Recto said CAAP is also a money-maker posting a gross income of P4.7 billion and a net income of P1.93 billion in 2012.
“While CAAP derives its income from pilot licensing fees and aircraft airworthiness certificates, what cannot be denied is that most of the holders of these use the country’s premier airport,” said the senator.
He commended CAAP’s move to bankroll the installation of CCTVs in NAIA’s Terminal 3, which he said “must be the template in using internally-generated income to improve the NAIA complex.”
Recto then urged TIEZA to follow CAAP’s lead and plow back some of the tax it collects from NAIA-exiting passengers in providing more amenities inside its four terminals.
The NAIA, he pointed out, also collects fees from airport concessionaires like food stalls and taxis.
Compared to Congress, Recto said the three agencies could easily allocate funds for NAIA-improvement projects.
“Hindi kasama sa national budget ang pag-gasta ng kita at pondo nila, kaya mas madali silang maglaan ng pondo kung drinking fountains, couches at malinis na comfort rooms lang ang bibilhin (,” he said.
Recto made the proposal after NAIA’s Terminal 1 has been voted the worst airport in the world by the travel website Sleeping In Airports three years in a row since 2011.
He also cited the need to improve the security in NAIA following the assassination of Zamboanga del Sur local official (Labangan town mayor) Ukol Talumpa and three others in the arrival gate of Terminal 3 and another incident of a man, who managed to climb the airport perimeter fence and reached a Kuwait Airlines jet before he was accosted by airport police.
Both incidents happened last month.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.