Lawmaker Seeks Travel Tax Exemption for OFW Dependents

Did you know that most passengers leaving the Philippines need to pay a travel tax of Php1,620 for economy and business class seats as mandated by Presidential Decree 1183, regardless if they bought their tickets in the country or someplace else?

The rate actually increases to Php2,700 if you have first class tickets.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, Philippine government officials and employees on official business, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and children less than 2 years old are exempted from paying this travel tax.

Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio R. Sy-Alvarado believes that the children and dependents of OFWs should also be included in the list of those exempted from paying this tax. He filed House Bill 8196 to amend Section 35 of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 so as to include OFW dependents in the exemptions.

He strongly believes that OFWs deserve to have this in consideration of the economic contributions they have for the country.

The total remittances of our beloved overseas workers amount to billions of dollars which in return contributes to a positive impact on the country’s earnings and foreign exchange rate,” Rep. Sy-Alvarado explained.

He added, “[The bill aims to] alleviate their sacrifices to their respective families and recognize their valuable role.

Right now, OFWs are exempted from paying travel taxes, airport fees, and documentary stamp taxes but if they are traveling with their children and other dependents, they have to pay for these fees in their dependents’ tickets.

The total amount could still be costly, especially if the OFW is traveling with several dependents.

In the bill, the exemption covers the dependents of both married and solo parents who are working as OFWs.

As of press time, the bill is still pending at the House Committee on Overseas Affairs. Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon D. Alvarez and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas have also filed House Bill 6138 which has related measures.