Batangas lawmaker seeks IPSC exemption for OFWs

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A LAWMAKER from Batangas wants to exempt Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from paying the International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC).

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In House Resolution 1918, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu urged the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to completely uphold the rights of the OFWs under the law to be exempted from payment of travel tax and airport fee.

Abu specifically called on MIAA to recall the memorandum circular it issued until after MIAA and other concerned government agencies have found the appropriate computer system that will automatically exempt OFWs and other locally-recognized exempt passengers from the payment of IPSC or airport terminal fee.

Abu said there is no automatic system that clearly and distinctly recognizes the exemption of OFWs and other exempt passengers from IPSC payments in the present implementation of the memorandum circular.

“There is really a need for the soonest adoption of a computer system that will allow recognition of the exemption of OFWs or online verification of documents showing exemption of the OFWs and other locally-recognized exempt passengers,” Abu stressed.

He also noted that Section 35 of Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, as amended by Republic Act 10022, exempts OFWs from paying travel tax and airport fees.

Despite this, Abu said MIAA issued Memorandum Circular No. 8 Series of 2014, which requires international passengers, including the OFWs, to pay the IPSC.

“Charging the OFWs is a blatant violation of the specific provision of R.A. No. 8042 as amended,” declared Abu, vice chairman of the House Committees on Housing and Urban Development, Inter-parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy, Public Order and Safety and Ways and Means.

According to Abu, OFWs have significantly and continuously contributed to the country’s economy and there are laws protecting their interest and welfare.

“I adhere to the clear mandate of the 1987 Philippine Constitution concerning the protection being granted to our OFWs, and in consonance with the law granting exemption to OFWs from payment of travel tax and airport fee, it is legal to really exclude OFWs from imposition of IPSC,” Abu stressed.

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