Clark International Airport Corporation had begun negotiations with the Department of Tourism to impose a waiver on travel tax currently enforced in Clark International Airport. “We are coordinating with the DOT about the possibility of imposing a moratorium on the imposition of travel tax here in CRK. If DOT agrees to the proposed moratorium, passengers will be encouraged to fly through Clark,” as stated by the president of CIAC, Emidgio Tanjuatco.
Travel Tax Waiver for Clark International Airport
This comes as a surprise considering the fact that the travel tax in Clark is higher than that in NAIA. Even though Clark International Airport was designed to accommodate 4 million people, it only served 2.4 million passengers in 2013. The numbers depressingly and recently dropped down to a mere 877,757 passengers in 2014. The travel tax covers Filipino citizens, permanent resident and non-resident aliens who have stayed in the Philippines for at least a year.
Before passengers depart in Clark International Airport, the travel tax which is specifically meant only for the airport requires them to pay R2700 for first class passenger trips or R1620 for economy passengers. The DOT in one of their meetings with CRK stakeholders expressively hoped that the proposal should be elevated to the President because of the financial and legal implications the plan will affect.
Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla admitted that it is possible for the president to allow the travel waiver like what former president Fidel V. Ramos did to encourage tourism and bolster economic activities in the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines-East Asian Growth Rate Area). President Ramos officially issued Memorandum Order 237 in October 1, 1994.
The memorandum authorized provisional exemption for all sea passengers in all international sea ports in Mindanao to any of the BIMP-EAGA region from payment of travel tax for a period of 60 days. “If that was possible during the time of President Ramos, then we should present to the President Aquino. But it is ultimately up to the President because of the moratorium’s financial impact,” Transportation Undersecretary Lotilla further explained.
Air Asia Zest and Emirates has stopped flights to Clark last year. Only Asiana Airlines, Dragon Air, Jin Air, Qatar Airways, Cebu Pacific, Tiger Air Philippines, Tiger Air and Air Asia Berhad are the airline companies making flights to the said airport. Nevertheless, the Philippine government has continued to invest in the expansion of CRK as an alternative to NAIA under the dual-airport system. The Aquino administration has been pushing for the construction of a low cost carrier terminal at Clark International Airport for a price of 12 billion pesos. Source CustomsToday