MANILA — Bacolod City Rep. Evelio R. Leonardia said that senior citizens should be granted exemption from paying passenger terminal fees for air and sea travels.
Rep. Leonardia is author of HB 4697 which provides for a twenty percent (20%) discount on all terminal fees in airports, sea ports and bus or vehicle terminal for senior citizens.
The bill seeks to amend further Section 4 (a) of Republic Act No. 7432, as amended by Republic Act No. 9994, otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior citizens Act of 2010.”
Moreover, Leonardia pointed out that the inclusion of passenger terminal fees from the list of exemptions can help bolster tourism all over the country by promoting discounted local travel to senior citizens.
Leonardia’s bill has gained the support of Rep. Salvio Fortuno (5th District, Camarines Sur) chairman of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation, who stressed that the measure would surely help the economic status of senior citizens while promoting local tourism.
Under the latest amendatory law (RA 9994), senior citizens are granted 20% discount on actual and advanced booking transportation fares for domestic air transport and sea shipping vessels and the like, Leonardia noted.
“Passenger terminal fees however, are not included. Most, if not all domestic airports do not give a 20% discount on passenger terminal fees for senior citizens,” he added.
He further noted that “in fact, in a strict interpretation of the amended law, the Office of Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) Opinion 86, series of 2011 even declared that the 20% discount accorded to senior citizens under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 is not applicable to passenger terminal fees.
Under HB 4697, Leonardia proposes to insert the following provision to Section 4 of RA 7432, as amended by RA 9994, or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” or the list of exemptions: “xxxxx (10) on the terminal fees for all domestic and international air transport services and sea transport vessels, bus and vehicular transport services, and the like.”
HB 4697 is under consideration by the Committee on Population and Family Relations chaired by Rep. Rogelio Espina, M.D. (Lone District, Biliran).