DOLE to CAAP: Refund P500M worth of travel taxes, terminal fees to OFWs
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is urging the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to refund at least P500 million worth of terminal fees and travel taxes it has collected from overseas Filipino workers.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Monday that the DOLE has already sent a letter to CAAP requesting for a refund of terminal fees and travel taxes.
“Our letter is not only meant to inform them not to collect terminal fees from OFWs. It also included our request for CAAP to turn over their collection of terminal fees amounting to almost half a billion,” Belo said in English and Filipino in a press conference.
The labor chief added that the CAAP must remit the funds to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) as they are the trustees of the OFWs.
He said airlines should also stop collecting travel taxes and terminal fees from OFWs as they have been exempted from paying travel tax and terminal fees since 2015.
“Dito naman kasi ang nangongolekta ang mga airlines. They should not because by law our OFWs are exempted from paying travel tax. 2015 pa yung exemption nila and notwithstanding noong exemption na yun, kinokolekta pa rin,” he said.
“Hindi sila sumusunod sa patakaran kaya again we are reiterating our information to CAAP that they should stop collecting and whatever they collected, dapat ipadala na sa OWWA, pera yan ng mga OFW eh,” the Labor Secretary added.
(They are not following the rules so we are reiterating our call to the CAAP that they should stop collecting fees and whatever they’ve collected should be remitted to OWWA because it is for the OFWs.)
Bello noted that OFWs are entitled to a refund of the terminal fees, but they usually fail to apply for a refund as they go straight to their respective countries of employment.
“Alam nyo yung ating overseas workers kapag binayaran nila yung terminal fee, they are entitled to refund but they are so excited to go to their place or their deployment na wala na silang energy na magpipila pila para marefund sila,” Bello said.
Bello also said that airlines, both local and foreign, should not include these fees in ticket sales.
“We have to reiterate the demand na huwag na nilang kolektahin doon sa pagbenta nila ng ticket (We need to reiterate our demand for airlines not to collect travel taxes when they sell tickets),” he said. /ee
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