PANALO | Pasay Judge Rules: No P550 Airport Terminal Fee for OFWs

MANILA – A Pasay City court has ruled that the Manila International Airport Authority cannot collect its P550 airport terminal fee from overseas Filipino workers.

In a ruling dated 19 November 2014, Pasay Presiding Judge Tingaraan Guiling said the MIAA Memorandum Circular Order 8 promulgated on 15 September 2014 is “unenforceable”.

Earlier, party-list representative and former Ambassador Roy Seneres Jr., together with some non-government organizations and recruitment agencies, filed a petition for certiorari against the controversial MIAA order which incorporated the airport terminal fee into airline tickets.

At the court hearing on 17 November 2014, a MIAA official revealed that the circular was neither published in a newspaper of general circulation.

Irene Montalbo, MIAA finance manager, said MIAA has met with various stakeholders, including the Department of Labor and Employment and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration on a MIAA procedure for the refund of MIAA terminal fees paid by OFWs for airline tickets purchased online or bought abroad.

But petitioners insisted that the MIAA circular violates the rules and regulations of Republic Act 10022, which, among others prohibits the collection of travel tax and terminal fee for OFWs with valid Overseas Exemption Certificates (OECs).

“Bereft and absence of publication, the said Memorandum Circular 8 is unenforceable,” the ruling said.


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