LOW-COST carrier Cebu Pacific said on Tuesday that it had requested the government to extend the travel tax exemption for both air and sea travel in the country to any destination within the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
The request is in line with Cebu Pacific’s new route between Zamboanga City and Sandakan, Malaysia.
“We have made representations with the Mindanao Development Authority to request for extension of the
Travel Tax exemption for travel from the Philippines to destinations within the BIMP-EAGA,” Cebu Pacific Vice President for Corporate Affairs JR Mantaring said in a statement.
The Mindanao Development Authority serves as the coordinating office of the country for BIMP-EAGA.
“We believe that this would provide relief to the Filipino travelers and accelerate trade and tourism between the member countries, in accordance with the spirit and intent behind the creation of BIMP-EAGA,” Mantaring added.
The exemption from payment of the Philippine travel tax, which costs P1,620, was reinstated on October 24, 2014 after being implemented under the Ramos and Arroyo administrations. It is set to expire in October 2017 as it covers only a three-year period.
Cebu Pacific also said it is coordinating with the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Quarantine and Bureau of Immigration to ensure that customs, immigration and quarantine mechanisms in Zamboanga are prepared for commercial international air passenger operations.
The Zamboanga-Sandakan route is scheduled to begin on October 29 through Cebu Pacific’s wholly-owned subsidiary Cebgo, with flights every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.