Higher airport fees opposed

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
Higher airport fees opposed
Passengers heading to their respective provinces for the Holy Week break flock to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on March 27, 2024.
STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — A consumer group wants the government to call off its plan of raising passenger service charges (PSC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

CitizenWatch Philippines, led by former lawmaker Jose Christopher Belmonte, wants the government to terminate its plan of increasing the fees charged against travelers using NAIA.

“CitizenWatch Philippines rejects in the strongest possible terms the proposed increase in airport fees at the soon-to-be privatized Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” the group said.

In proposals seen by The STAR, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), regulator of NAIA, is proposing to raise the charges for NAIA services. In particular, MIAA wants to raise the PSC for domestic travelers by almost double to P390 from P200.

Further, MIAA hopes to increase the PSC for international guests to P950 from P550.

The operations and maintenance of NAIA are set to be passed on to the New NAIA Infrastructure Corp. (NNIC), led by Ramon Ang’s San Miguel Corp., in September.

CitizenWatch Philippines said proposals to adjust the PSC may discourage Filipinos and foreigners from traveling to the Philippines.

Likewise, CitizenWatch Philippines said Filipinos are already burdened with price pressures, as inflation has gone on an upward trend this year, reaching 3.9 percent in May.

The group believes that NNIC must first upgrade the airport and its facilities before changing the rates on NAIA services.

“The increase will also be an additional, unnecessary cost that would discourage businesses and tourists from coming and staying here. It will run counter to the administration’s drive to attract investments and visitors,” CitizenWatch Philippines said.

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