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House Panel, OKs Bill To Exempt OFW Dependents From Travel Tax

If pushed through into law this bill would make every dependent of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) enjoy what OFWs are now enjoying in terms of non-payment of travel tax.

The House Committee on Ways and Means now approved House Bill No. 6138 that seeks to grant an exemption to Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) dependents from paying a travel tax! According to its author former House Speaker and Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez the bills aims to completely exempt OFW dependents from paying the tax.

At present, dependents of OFWs are asked to pay P300 for economy passage and P400 for first class. While other passengers are required to pay P1,620 travel tax for those who are boarding economy and P2,700 for first class flights.

On the other hand, OFWs are exempted from paying travel taxes, documentary stamp tax, and airport fees as per the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.

But according to Alvarez, children of solo parent OFWs are currently denied an exemption from travel tax, an incentive to which broods of their married counterparts are entitled as provided for under Republic Act 6768, as amended, otherwise known as “An Act Instituting a Balikbayan Program.”

He noted that RA 8042 grants travel exemption solely to OFWs and not to their dependents, which is contrary to the provisions of RA 6768.

Under the House Bill 6138, OFWs and his or her dependents shall be exempt from payment of travel tax and airport fee upon a proper showing of entitlement by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

On the other hand, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Tax Research Center did not support the bill saying that the reduced travel tax for OFW dependents is already enough.

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