MIAA Risking Contempt of Court with IPSC Scheme Implementation –Coalition

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) may find itself in legal trouble with the implementation of the controversial integrated terminal fee scheme, which started on February 1 amid strong opposition from OFW groups, a migrants’ rights advocate said Monday.

Emmanuel Geslani, consultant to the #NoTo550 Coalition, said MIAA is “courting contempt of court” when it decided to push through with the implementation despite unresolved matters pending in the court.

“If the Manila International Airport Authority under General Angel Honrado insists on implementing this, they will be courting contempt of court. Because right now, there are still pending motions filed by them through the Office of the Solicitor General on two questions — motion for reconsideration and motion for inhibition,” Geslani said in a report on “24 Oras.”

#NoTo550 is a coalition of 17 OFW groups and advocates opposing the implementation of International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) scheme. It has already brought the issue before the Pasay City court.

Under the scheme, OFWs who purchase their tickets online or abroad would have to pay the integrated P550 terminal fee then line up upon their return to the country at any of the Ninoy Aquion Terminal Aiport terminals to claim a refund.

According to the coalition, the scheme is unconstitutional as it violates a provision in the Migrant Workers’ Act of 1995 exempting OFWs from paying travel tax and airport terminal fees.

But according to MIAA, the scheme is a known practice all over the world.

“This is already an international practice. All over the world, integrated na sila. So it’s also one way of decongesting [our airports], less one queue para sa ating mga pasahero, especially yung mga foreigners kasi they’re used to that,” said Connie Bungag, media affairs head of the MIAA.

Based on MIAA records, of the over 7 million NAIA passengers every year, about 2 million are OFWs.

On Sunday, February 1, Hong Kong-based Filipino group Unifil Migrante rallied outside the Philippine Consulate there to voice their opposition to the integrated terminal fee scheme, the “24 Oras” report said.

(Source: KBK, GMA News)

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