The House Committee on Tourism, chaired by Rep. Corazon Nuñez-Malanyaon (1st District, Davao Oriental), approved House Bill No. 7964 or the proposed “Tax-Free Travel for Senior Citizens and PWDs (persons with disabilities) Act,” which seeks to exempt them from the imposition of travel tax.
HB 7964, principally authored by Rep. Greg Gasataya (Lone District, Bacolod City), aims to further improve the lives of Senior Citizens and PWDs.
“Those who have less in life should have more in law. While there are existing benefits for Senior Citizens and PWDs provided by law, the State can further develop policies that would induce a more satisfactory life for them,” said Gasataya.
He stressed that these individuals are the most likely to require special medical intervention that may be better acquired in other countries.
“Despite our country’s significant advances in the field of Medical Technology, it cannot be denied that there are still procedures for certain illnesses that are exclusive or are more affordable in countries abroad. Thus, overseas travel must be made accessible to Senior Citizens and PWDs,” Gasataya said.
If signed into law, the measure shall reduce the burden of travelling on Senior Citizens and PWDs by exempting them from travel tax.
As provided by Presidential Decree 1183, the travel tax in the country for economy class at present amounts to the following: (a) P1,620 for the full travel tax, (b) P810 for the Standard Reduced Travel Tax, and (c) P300 for the Privileged Reduced Tax for OFW dependents.
Meanwhile, the travel tax for first class passengers are as follows: (a) P2,700 for the full rate amount, (b) P1,350 for the Standard Reduced Rate, and (c) P400 for the Privileged Reduced Tax for OFW dependents.
Gasataya urged for the passage of the bill saying that, “As many Senior Citizens rely solely on pension and PWDs on their families for income, it is imperative that the State provide them with as much privileges as possible.