“On account of accountability and transparency, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Committee on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP – ECMI) wants to know how much has been collected from our OFWs and how much have been refunded,” the prelate asked. Santos, bishop of the Diocese of Balanga, is chair of the CBCP – ECMI.
The bishop said that it will be a year this February 1 when the terminal fee of P550 was integrated into the purchase of airline tickets based on memorandum No. 8 of the Manila International Airport Authority.
Republic Act 8042 exempts OFWs from the international passenger service charge or terminal fee. “It has been noted that OFWs have extreme difficulty in refunding as they have to show overseas employment certificate, air fare ticket receipt and boarding passes and especially the time constraint they have to endure,” Santos said.
He asked that if there are amounts not refunded, what happened to the remaining balance.“We remind our government authorities that those money are life-blood of our migrant families, money coming from their blood, sweat and tears. It should be returned to proper and worthy owners – the OFWs.