Pay your travel taxes first before traveling!
Many Filipinos have the privilege of traveling to different countries. As the matter of fact, according to Visa Inc., the Philippines was included in the list of Asia-Pacific countries with the most international travelers in 2015. The study found that the reason of this surge of Filipinos traveling abroad is because of the rise in middle-class’ affordability to travel .
Added to their financial capabilities to travel, there are various promos and seat sales that opens a wider chance for Filipinos to travel. Several countries like Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Iran, Cambodia, and Vietnam were declared visa-free for Filipino tourists, expanding their options for their destinations .
But before we travel, there are several obligations we need to fulfill. Besides preparing the needed itinerary and travel insurance, Filipinos must also brace themselves for the travel tax.
The Philippine Travel Tax, or Presidential Decree 1138, is a tariff established in 1977 by the government which obligates every Filipino citizen who will embark on international travels to pay the appropriate travel tax needed. This is regardless of any factors such as the form of payment, and where the airline ticket is issued. However, the travel tax only applies to international trips, not domestic flights .
Who are required to pay?
The law requires every Filipino citizens to pay for the required tax. Foreigners who have resided in the country permanently are also required. If a foreigner stayed in the Philippines for more than a year, they are also required to pay.
Who are exempted?
Not all Filipinos are required to pay for the taxes. The following individuals who are exempted:
- Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)
- Filipino reporters and journalists that are assigned to cover an international event or news.
- Infants that are 24 months and below during the trip
- Government officials and employees on business trips
- Students that are scholars of any government agency
- Diplomatic officials and members of their staff
- Crew members of airplanes heading to international routes
- Pinoy permanent residents abroad whose stay in the country is less than 1 year
- Those who receive grants of government-funded foreign trips.
- Philippine Foreign Service personnel assigned officially abroad as well as their dependents
- Grantees of government-funded foreign trips 
In addition, a house bill was proposed to include senior citizens and persons with disabilities to the list of those who are exempted. The bill is yet to be approved. As of now, senior citizens and PWDs are still obliged to pay the tax .
For foreigners, those who are exempted from the rules are:
- Foreign students
- US Military personnel and including their dependents
- United States nationals that are working for the US government
- Officials of the United Nations and related agencies, along with experts, consultants, and employees.
- Foreign seamen
- Foreign government officials
- Transit passengers (those who have stopovers in a Philippine airport with 0 to 23 hours in waiting time)
- Special investor resident visa holders and non-immigrant visas.
- Those who are working for multinational companies with regional headquarters but are not currently engaged in business with Philippines 
How much do we have to pay?
The rates for the travel tax depends on the flight class. Some travelers might also be qualified to have reduced rates. For first class passengers, the standard rates are at PhP2,700. While for those who are on the economy class, they would only have to pay PhP1,620 for the standard rates. OFW dependents have privileged rates that costs PhP400 for first class, and PhP300 for economy. Standard reduced travel tax is at PhP1,350 for business class while those who are in economy class will have to pay PhP810 .
Methods of payment
There are various methods of payment for the travel tax. Those who have purchased airline tickets outside of the Philippines can pay directly through any Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) travel tax counter at any airport.
On other hand, those who bought tickets in the Philippines can pay through any travel agency, travel tax counters, and ticketing offices. The travel tax might be also included already in online bookings, depending in some airlines. It’s best to check your purchase to see if the travel tax is included in the breakdown of fees. Those who want to avoid the long queues can now pay online through the newly-launched Travel Tax Payment on the website of TIEZA that accepts credit or debit cards .
* Promo dates/Prices may change without prior notice.
About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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