PCL president and Cebu Provincial Board ex-officio member Francis Edward Salimbangon said the advent of inter-regional travel, sisterhood agreements as well as the increasing competitive jobs market that requires exposure to foreign trends, cultures and ideas has made foreign travel a necessity.
PCL backs abolition of tax for international travels
Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - September 2, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Philippine Councilors League (PCL) Cebu Chapter is supporting the proposal of Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia to abolish the travel tax for international destinations.

Questioning why the exercise of one’s right to travel is being taxed, Garcia has filed House Bill No. 3874 which seeks to abolish the travel tax collected from those going to international destinations.

PCL president and Cebu Provincial Board ex-officio member Francis Edward Salimbangon said the advent of inter-regional travel, sisterhood agreements as well as the increasing competitive jobs market that requires exposure to foreign trends, cultures and ideas has made foreign travel a necessity.

“House Bill 3874 of Cong. Garcia will surely benefit the Cebuanos who frequently travel to foreign countries either for legitimate government functions, business or pure pleasure,” Salimbangon said.

The PB is set to also adopt during its regular session today the stand of the PCL through a resolution sponsored by Salimbangon.

Salimbangon also agreed to Garcia’s contention that the fees collected are redundant and burdensome to passengers and travelers who are already taxed when buying airline tickets and terminal fees.

“The income from which they obtained funds to purchase airline tickets would already have been subject to income tax. The sale of the airline ticket is already subject to taxes which are passed on to the passenger. Furthermore, the passenger is made to pay terminal fees during every trip,” Garcia noted.

The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) currently collects P1,620 from each passenger traveling business and economy class. First class passenger pays P2,700.

The travel tax was enacted in 1956 yet under Republic Act No. 1478. Sixty-three years ago, the Philippines was still governed by the 1935 Constitution wherein the right to travel was not expressly provided.

Garcia noted that R.A. 1478 was aimed at curtailing unnecessary foreign travels and to shore up foreign exchange and it was enacted at a time when travel was a luxury available only to the rich.

“It would be an understatement to say that times have drastically changed since,” Garcia said.

He pointed out that the Philippines is a signatory to the ASEAN Tourism Agreement of 2002 where member states committed to repealing travel levies and taxes on ASEAN nationals traveling to another country within the region. (FREEMAN)

PABLO JOHN GARCIA TRAVEL TAX
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