Replacing P1,650 Travel Tax To P500 Tourist Fee

The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) wants to replace the P1,620 travel tax charged to Filipinos flying to other countries with a P500 fee for all, including foreign tourists.

“What we want to do right now is revisit that (travel tax) and make a tourist development fund specifically for departure,” TIEZA chief operating officer Pocholo Paragas said over the weekend.

Paragas said he wants to replace the P1,620 with a P500 fee that will go to the Tourist Development Fund (TDF). Last year, Paragas said TIEZA was eyeing to create a TDF to be used for the improvement and development of infrastructure for tourists visiting the country.

It is noted that under Presidential Decree 1183, passengers who are leaving the country irrespective of the place where the air ticket is issued and the form or place of payment are required to pay a travel tax of P1,620 for economy class and P2,700 for first class.

The chief operating officer added that charging P500 will also lessen the burden on Filipinos currently paying the P1,620 travel tax. While a law is required to establish the TDF, Paragas said he would prefer an executive order first to push for this concept.

“What we wanted to do, prior to law is if there is an EO that can help us set up this frame of mind, it will work,” Paragas said.

In December, Paragas said he already submitted a copy of a draft bill for the creation of the fund to President Duterte. Paragas said they are still updating the draft and coordinating with international partners.

“We’ve been dealing with the international segment, the international airlines, (other) countries; we’re trying to coordinate with them to finalize the best fit for the Philippines,” he said.