House OKs resolution urging Marcos Jr to renew BIMP-EAGA travel tax exemption


Posted at Mar 22 2023 02:49 AM


MANILA - The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a resolution urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to renew the grant of a travel tax exemption to travelers departing from all international airports and seaports in Mindanao and Palawan to any destination in Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

The committee fact sheet prepared by the House Special Committee on East ASEAN Growth Area recalled that travel tax exemption granted to all passengers originating from Mindanao and Palawan, by air and/or by sea, to any destination within the BIMP-EAGA by then-President Rodrigo Duterte through Memorandum Order No. 23 in 2018 shall expire in May 2023.

"For reasons of national interest and in order to sustain and accelerate economic development in Mindanao and Palawan, it is vital, reasonable and proper for the national government to renew the policy that grants travel tax exemption for a period of five (5) years, subject to review and overall assessment and impact analysis on the returns to the national government as basis for possible further extension," House Resolution 454 read.

The fact sheet noted that among member countries, only the Philippines collects travel tax on its outbound international travels.

"It runs counter to the sub-regional objective of promoting the connectivity and accessibility of the EAGA focus areas as well as facilitating freer movement of people, goods and services," the resolution read.

The fact sheet said the measure aims to promote tourism and trade activities and encourage mobility of passengers traveling by air and sea from Palawan and Mindanao to any destination in the BIMP-EAGA sub-region.

"More particularly, it has produced economic benefits in terms of increased business activities, remarkable growth in tourism development, additional air and sea services in the transportation sector, and heightened sociocultural ties among the people in the growth area," it read. -- Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News