DOT looking into reducing travel tax

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boarding on airplane
Travelers in Tacloban City, Philippines, boarding on their designated airplane (Picture: VQAJ/ Reporter.PH)

Tourism Undersecretary for Advocacy and Public Affairs Katherine de Castro has announced that they are reviewing the possibility of eliminating or at least minimizing the travel tax levied on those who are traveling outside the country. They are also looking into ways on how the fee can be incorporated in all airline tickets regardless of airline carrier.

Filipinos departing from the Philippines are currently paying P1,620 for economy class passage and P2,700 for first class travelers tax. Fifty percent of this goes to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) while 40 percent to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The remaining 10 percent is set aside for the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA).

De Castro said they are probing why a high percentage of the travel tax goes to CHED when it has no relevance to travel at all.

TIEZA has declared that as of July 25, the P200 processing fee for issuance of certificates of Travel Tax Exemption as well as Reduced Travel Tax has been scrapped. This move will not only save traveler’s money but will also ease the long queues at the TIEZA and travel counters at the airport.

“Those exempted from travel tax payments and those entitled to reduced rates will just have to present their documents to get the corresponding certificate of exemption or reduced travel tax rate,” said Wanda Teo who now sits as the Tourism Secretary and TIEZA chair.

People who are exempted from travel tax includes overseas Filipino workers, Filipino permanent residents abroad staying in the country for less than one year and infants two years old and below.