FOR passengers departing from any air terminal in the Philippines, there will soon be one less counter at which they need to queue up, as the terminal fee will be collected by the airlines or their agents as they sell travel tickets.
The airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) and the Department of Tourism at their third consultation meeting held the main office of the DOT have reached a consensus on the matter, said Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo.
Benito Bengzon Jr., DOT undersecretary for development planning, who chaired the meeting described it as a move consistent with the 10-point agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte. “We are working together with the different airlines and our partner government agencies in making it easier for the traveling public,” he said.
However, it will take a while for the new arrangement to take effect.
First, local air carriers—Philippine Airlines,Cebu Pacific, Sea Air, Sky Jet, Air Juan, and Air Asia— and the CAAP board must agree with the terms and conditions in the memorandum of agreement presented by DOT. Besides, at least a month is needed to get the word out to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and finalize acceptance and support.
“I am sure the traveling public would appreciate” this initiative, Bengzon added.
Recently, the DOT also pushed for the removal of the “processing fee” once imposed by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for the issuance of certificates of Travel Tax Exemption and Reduced Travel Tax.
According Teo, “These initiatives address the long-standing choke points that beset tourism growth, such as physical airport capacity, travel facilitation and passenger mobility.”