Filipinos buying air tickets at Cebu Pacific will no longer be charged the P550 airport terminal fee the government preciously charged as the airline has updated its booking systems to ensure that passengers who are exempt from paying the International Passenger Service Charge at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport can avail of fees.
The move is in line with the agreement between the Manila International Airport Authority and representatives of 40 airlines in Manila in March to stop collecting the P550 terminal fee for overseas Filipino workers beginning April 30 upon presentation of status.
Under Philippine law, all OFWs have been exempt from these fees from the beginning until the Department of Transportation and Communications in October last year started collecting the fees through airline companies from all customers, supposedly to eliminate long queues before departure. OFWs were then asked to queue up for refunds near the boarding gates.
Atty JR Mantaring, Vice-President for Corporate Affairs of Cebu Pacific, said the move to exempt all OFWs is seen to benefit thousands of them who book flights on Cebu Pacific to get to their job sites.
“Through these system upgrades, we hope to make it easier and more convenient for our OFWs to book flights with Cebu Pacific; and not have to go through a tedious and time-consuming process of reimbursing the NAIA Terminal Fee that they have been long-exempted from under the Migrant Workers Act,” Atty Mantaring said.
Since July 8, passengers who booked their flights through the Cebu Pacific mobile app have also been able to claim the NAIA terminal fee exemption by simply ticking a box before booking and payment is processed and confirmed.
Bookings made through the Cebu Pacific Reservation Hotlines or via the website, www.cebupacificair.com on the other hand, have been exempted from paying the NAIA Terminal Fee since April this year.
Passengers are required to present valid documents upon check-in to verify their eligibility for the IPSC exemption. For OFWs, these include the Overseas Employment Certificate; and those included under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s Balik Manggagawa program such as a valid employment contract, recent payslip, or Company ID.
In addition to OFWs, pilgrims and athletes with authorisation from the Philippine Sports Commission, and guests who have been issued a MIAA exemption certificate are also exempted from paying the IPSC, provided valid documents are presented.