Senior citizens not exempted from travel tax


Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I purchased an airplane ticket as a gift to my 65-year-old father for him to have a tour abroad, but I noticed that a travel tax was included in his plane ticket. I would like to know if senior citizens are exempted from travel tax.            

Dear Athena,
Pursuant to Section 1 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 38 (An Act Consolidating the Provisions on Travel Tax by Amending Certain Sections of PD No. 1183, As Amended), travel tax shall be imposed upon: “(a) all citizens of the Philippines; (b) permanent resident aliens; and (c) non-immigrant aliens who have stayed in the Philippines for more than one (1) year who are leaving the country, irrespective of the place of issuance of ticket and the form and place of payment. Xxx xxx.”

Among those who are exempted from payment of travel tax under Section 2 of the same rules are the following:

a) Officials and employees of the Philippine Government or any of its ministries, bureaus, and instrumentalities travelling on official business;

b) Persons whose fares are paid out of Philippine Government funds;

c) Foreign diplomatic and consular officials and members of their staff who are duly accredited to the Republic of the Philippines including the immediate members of their families and household domestics whose entry as such has been authorized by the Philippine Government;

d) Officials, consultants, experts and employees of the United Nations Organization and of its agencies, and those exempted under existing laws, treaties and international agreements;

e) Personnel or multinational companies with regional headquarters at, but not engaged in business in the Philippines, and their dependents if joining them during the period of their assignment in the Philippines as certified to by the Ministry of Trade;

f) Crew members of ships and airplanes plying international routes who are leaving the country to join their vessels or airplanes or to assume their positions therein;

g) Filipino citizens who are permanent residents of foreign countries who have stayed in the Philippines for a period of not more than one (1) year;

h) Bona fide students whose studies have been approved by the NEDA Scholarship Committee and foreign students enrolled in the Philippines and their dependents;

i) Infants who are two years old or less;

j) Scientists and experts of any nationality invited by the Philippine Government in the interest of science and technology;

k) Destitutes certified to by the Ministry of Social Services and Development as such needing medical treatment not available in the Philippines as certified to by the Ministry of Health, and whose fares are paid for by private individuals, charitable institutions and organizations;

l) United States military personnel and other United States nationals, including their dependents in proper cases as indicated herein below, who are travelling on United States government-owned or chartered transport facilities or with fares expended out of United States Government funds, to wit:

1) United States military personnel and their dependents;

2) Filipinos in the United States Military Service and their dependents;

3) Filipino employees of the United States Government travelling on United States Government business;

4) U.S. State Department visitor-grantees travelling on United States Government business; and

5) Destitute American repatriates.

m) Persons whose travel is provided or funded by foreign governments with which the Philippine Government maintains diplomatic relations;

n) Those authorized by the President of the Philippines for reasons of national interest.

Senior citizens are not among those enumerated above; hence, your 65-year-old father is required to pay the said tax.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to


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