House OKs travel tax exemption for seniors, PWDs

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A committee of the House of Representatives has approved a measure that grants tax exemption for the travel of senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

The House Committee on Tourism headed by Davao Oriental Rep. Corazon Nuñez-Malanyaon, approved House Bill 7964 which seeks to exempt the elderly and PWDs from the imposition of travel tax.

 “Those who have less in life should have more in law. While there are existing benefits for senior citizens and PWDs, the State can further develop policies that would induce a more satisfactory life for them,” Bacolod City Rep. . Greg Gasataya said.

HB 7964 is the proposed Tax-Free Travel for Senior Citizens and PWDs Act.

The Visayan lawmaker said that the elderly and PWDs are the most likely to require special medical intervention abroad where medical equipment or technology is more advanced.

 “Despite our country’s significant advances in the field of medical technology, it cannot be denied that there are still procedures for certain illnesses that are exclusive or are more affordable in countries abroad,” Gasataya pointed out.

 “Thus, overseas travel must be made accessible to senior citizens and PWDs,” he said.

If signed into law, the measure will reduce the burden of travelling for senior citizens and PWDs by exempting them from the travel tax.

As provided by Presidential Decree 1183, the travel tax in the country for economy class at present amounts to the following:

(a) P1,620 for the full travel tax,

(b) P810 for the standard reduced travel tax, and

(c) P300 for the privileged reduced tax for OFW dependents.

Meanwhile, the travel tax for first class passengers are as follows: (a) P2,700 for the full rate amount, (b) P1,350 for the standard reduced rate, and (c) P400 for the privileged reduced tax for OFW dependents.

Gasataya urged for the passage of the bill saying “many senior citizens rely solely on pension and PWDs on their families for income.” “It is imperative that the State provides them with as much privileges as possible.”

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