Last year, we featured the announcement on vacationing OFWs’ exemption from filing an OEC if they are returning to the same employers abroad. This took effect on the first week of September of the same year. Included in the privilege is the OFW’s exemption from paying travel taxes and terminal fees when exiting the country as covered by Section 35 of RA 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act).
There are rampant cases, however, where these fees are incorporated in the cost of the airline ticket bought by OFWs online or over the counter. And in order for them to “refund” the paid fees, they have to line up at the airport. Most OFWs are not aware of this or do not have the luxury of time to wait in line for their reimbursement.
Starting April 30, 2017, the P550 terminal fee will automatically be waived for OFWs purchasing tickets over the counter; the same will be extended to online ticket purchases by the end of July 2017. This means that departing OFWs no longer need to go through the process of “refunding” terminal fees that are supposedly incorporated in the price of the tickets they purchased!
Not just for OFWs
The exemption is extended to other Pinoy travelers such as pilgrims, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) delegates, and other Filipinos authorized by law and the Office of the President to travel outside the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration is appealing to have the unreturned fees (those not refunded by OFWs) accounted for and returned to the OWWA who stands as Trustee of OFWs.
Share this news with your OFW friends and relatives!