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Sunday, September 07, 2014

THE OFW FAMILY PARTY-LIST OPPOSES THE INTEGRATION OF THE TERMINAL FEE INTO AIRLINE TICKETS


The office of the OFW Family Partylist, Congressman, former Ambassador to the UAE, Roy Seneres, Sr. release this statement in their Facebook page opposing the integration of the terminal fee P550 for each OFWs plane tickets. 

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OFW Family Party List
THE OFW FAMILY PARTY-LIST OPPOSES THE INTEGRATION OF THE TERMINAL FEE INTO AIRLINE TICKETS

The OFW Family Party-List strongly denounces the new policy to include the 550 pesos terminal fee in the purchased tickets of outgoing passengers on international flights as announced by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).

“Overseas Filipino Workers are exempted from paying terminal fees on international flights as mandated by law – the Republic Act 10022, otherwise known as the Amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, and no department policy can rise above this law,” according to OFW Family Party-List Representative Roy Señeres.

Señeres says that the plan to have the terminal fee refunded by OFWs at the airport has already been met with a lot of confusion and opposition by OFWs and members of the recruitment industry. In usual practice, it is the recruitment agency or employer who pays for the airline ticket, therefore it creates a problem for the OFW passenger who might be forced by the agency or employer to shoulder the payment of the terminal fee. OFWs are already required to pay so many fees prior to departure and to impose an additional payment for the terminal fee, even if it can be refunded, is an unwelcome development.



Also, OFWs are already pressed for time as it is, especially those on emergency leave, and lining up at the refund counters will add an additional burden to an already stressful series of procedures they have to undergo at the airport. Another concern is what would happen to the terminal fees which will remain unclaimed by those OFWs who will not have the time to refund it, as it could give rise to speculations of misuse and corruption.

The airline ticketing outlets should instead consider making it an option for those passengers required to pay the terminal fee to pay for it at the point of purchase if they prefer not to line up at the NAIA terminal fee counter.

“We support the call of the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards, Global OFW Voices, Blas Ople Center, Center for Migrants Advocacy, LBS, FMW Group, members of the recruitment industry as well as other notable OFW groups we have consulted with to scrap this policy and instead have the DOTC and MIAA 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,” added Señeres.

The OFW sector is open to discussing this issue with MIAA to arrive at an acceptable solution without compromising the rights and welfare of OFWs.

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