MANILA, Philippines – Local recruitment agencies have opposed the Manila International Airport Authority’s plan to integrate the payment of terminal fees in airline tickets to solve long queues at departure areas.
Agency owner, Jackson Gan, said the plan would only add more confusion for thousands of overseas Filipino workers.
Migrant labor comprisies almost half of the travelers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, he said.
The MIAA said integrating the international passenger service free up a sizeable space used by counters.
The new policy will be implemented starting October 1, 2014 despite lack of consultation among the stakeholders, particularly with the recruitment secor which is the largest purchasers of airline tickets for OFWs, according to Gan.
Under the plan, the terminal fee will be refunded to OFWs at the airport.
“The longer lines do not occur at the terminal fee booths but at the immigration counters,” he said.
“Why should the airport refund the airport tax of P550 to the workers who did not pay for the tax but the agencies and their employers who pay for the deployment of the workers,” he said.
The tax that would be added to the cost of the airline tickets will be an added burden of the agencies and employers who paying for the workers tickets, Gan noted.
Gan said the new policy would burden travelers leaving through other gateways such as Clark, Cebu and Davao, that charge lower terminal fees.
“The DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communication) and the MIAA should have consulted first the recruitment industry as there is an estimated one million airline tickets paid for each year,” he said.
The queues will just be shifted to the refund counters, acording to Gan, which creates another crowding problem.