MANILA — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Manila International Airport (MIAA) have many times stressed that the integration of the terminal fee in airline tickets can do more good than harm, contrary to what is assumed by groups opposing the move.
Integration of the Php550 terminal fees in international airline tickets began Feb 1, after the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Pasay Regional Trial Court expired with no preliminary injunction was issued.
Since last year, the integration predicted to help ease congestion in ticket queuing lines, was several times slapped with a TRO by the same court following the request of overseas Filipino (OFW) groups.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in an interview echoed MIAAs earlier statement that the move was among the upgrades being done to improve the overall efficiency of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
To recall, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said in a recent press conference that this integration has been a clamor from international passengers.
Honrado explained that as far as the ASEAN is concerned, it is only in the Philippines that face to “face payment” is still being made.
The airport chief explained that the integration project involves collecting the terminal fees upon one’s purchase of a plane ticket.
It works in a two-phased project where first, all exemptions mandated by the law such as exemption privilege for OFWs, national athletes and those approved by the Office of the President will be recognized and honored upon proper showing of proof of entitlement by the passenger when purchasing the ticket in the Philippines.
For tickets purchased online or abroad, the terminal fee will be automatically included in the ticket cost, although those exempted should not fear since MIAA is providing two modes by which an exempted passenger may refund the terminal fee portion of the ticket that he purchased online or abroad.
One can either refund upon the passenger’s departure flight (or after passing through immigrations there will be refund booths in the NAIA Terminals manned by personnel of the Landbank of the Philippines) or after the passenger’s flight, where refund may also be done through a representative at the MIAA Administration Building.
The second phase of the project is meanwhile recognizing exemptions at point of sale for tickets bought online or abroad. Since recognizing exemptions for tickets bought online or abroad cannot be done yet, paying the terminal fee and getting the refund was the only process there was to do.