Bill that proposes travel tax removal filed

A bill proposing that travel tax being imposed on Filipinos traveling to any part of the world lifted. Senator Aquilino Pimentel III filed Senate Bill 1841, stating the Filipinos’ right to travel overseas should not be charged with the travel tax imposition.

He said the travel tax, especially for those traveling to Asean countries, should have been in effect since November 2002 when the regional intergovernmental tourism agreement was signed.

He said the Philippines was one of those countries that signed the deal, which has removed the travel tax and levies on nationals of member-states who are traveling within the Asean region.

“It has been almost 14 years since the Philippines signed the Asean Tourism Agreement but as of date, travel taxes are still imposed upon individuals traveling to other Asean member-States,” he said in a statement.

Travel tax, which ranges from P300 to P2,700, was originally imposed to conserve foreign exchange and curtail needless foreign travels. The collection of it was first imposed in 1977 by then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos declared the Presidential Decree 1183 to provide adequate funds for infrastructure and tourism-related plans to help make the country, as a tourist destination, more aggressive.

But Pimentel, in his bill, said Filipinos are already paying the income tax, thus should not be required anymore to pay for infrastructure and tourism facilities.

News source: Sun Star

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