CEBU CITY: The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) has assured that no passenger service charge (PSC), commonly known as terminal fee, will be collected from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
MCIAA General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete made the promise during the second public hearing on the proposed increase of the PSC at the Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino in Lapu-Lapu City Tuesday.
His assurance was also in response to the clamor by some sectors that poor OFWs will suffer if the increase in terminal fee is implemented.
Villarete cited Republic Act 10022, the Amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995, that exempts OFWs from paying the terminal fee as long as an employment certificate is presented upon purchase of airline tickets in the Philippines.
The MCIAA Board has authorized Villarete to conduct a public hearing on the proposed PSC increase to an amount within the range of Php250 to P5hp00 for domestic passengers and within Php600 to Php1,000 for international passengers, which were supposed to take effect last October 1.
After a focus group discussion with airport stakeholders, MCIAA published the initial proposal for a PSC increase of Php100 for domestic and Php200 for international passengers.
Villarete said the existing Php200 PSC fee for domestic passengers took effect on January 1, 2006 while the Php550 for international passengers was implemented on July 1, 1999 yet.
He also noted that multi-billion dollar airport projects in neighboring countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam are accompanied by increases in the PSC.
As proposed, the new PSC that would be collected would be used to defray expenses for the operation, maintenance and improvements of the international airport.
It would also serve as funds to cover operations and projects of the whole airport, including landside and airside facilities.
Landside means the passenger and cargo terminals and the access system like parking, roads, public transport facilities, and loading and unloading areas.
Operation, maintenance, and improvements of the airport shall be handled by GMR-Megawide under its public-private partnership agreement.