What is the Philippine Travel Tax?

You might believe that all you need to visit the Philippines is an airplane ticket and maybe a Visa but think again.

Some countries require you to pay travel tax (also called a departure tax) when you leave from their airports and the Philippines is one of them.

But what exactly is a Philippine travel tax and how much does it cost?

Also, do you really have to pay or it?

Read through this simple guide to Philippine travel tax to enjoy a hassle-free, smooth-sailing vacation in the Philippines!

Philippine travel tax is a fee you might need to pay when you leave the country by plane.  This tax is only paid when you depart from the Philippines no matter which country you are headed or going back to. Philippine travel tax does not apply to arriving passengers.

You also need to pay an airport terminal fee on top of the travel tax.

Philippine Passenger Service Charge is an additional airport terminal tax fee for passengers leaving from any of the airports in the country.

But don’t be easily discouraged because chances are, you probably don’t need to dish out money for these additional taxes.

Why Do You Need To Pay Philippine Travel Tax + Terminal Fee?

The main reason why you’re paying the terminal fee when you depart from the Philippines is maintenance.

Since you used the airport and its amenities during your stay, no matter how short it is, someone needs to maintain it and pay for it.

The travel tax has something to do with boosting Philippine tourism. The money earned from Philippine travel tax is divided by the government into portions:

  • 50% goes to Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). This agency makes sure that your tourist destinations are worth the travel.
  • 40% goes to tourism-related educational programs and courses through the Commission on Higher Education. This is to guarantee that there are highly-skilled and trained Filipinos to assist and guide you. Filipinos are known for being hospitable and they will sure to treat you right!
  • 10% goes to the National Commission for Culture and Arts.

For a detailed breakdown of Philippine travel taxes and where it goes, you can read it on Section 73 of the Republic Act No. 9593.

How much is the Philippine travel tax + terminal fee?

Here’s the thing,

you DON’T NEED TO PAY THE PHILIPPINE TRAVEL TAX if you’re a foreign tourist as long as your visit is less than a year.

But you do have to pay the terminal fee which costs around 600 to 1, 135 Philippine peso per person (roughly 11 to 23 US dollars) for international flights.

Although, you might want to check on your ticket because the terminal fee is sometimes included in the flight ticket price upon booking unless you’re departing from Clark and Puerto Princesa airports in the Philippines.

But in case you plan to stay in the Philippines for more than a year or you’re a taxable foreign passport holder, the cost of Philippine travel tax depends on your ticket. Travel tax rates are listed below:

  • For economy / business class: PHP 1,620 or about USD 31.88
  • For first-class: PHP 2,700 or about USD 53.14

If you do have to pay for taxes, you can apply to be exempted from it only if you fall under these categories:

Filipino citizens who are permanent residents abroad

  • Overseas Filipino workers
  • Foreign diplomats
  • US military personnel

For a full and detailed list of individuals who are exempted from paying the travel tax, go to the website of the Philippine Consulate General of your country.

Where Do I Pay My Philippine Travel Tax + Terminal Fee?

Before you pay the taxes, it is important that you check your airline ticket if travel tax and terminal fee are already included in the price.

If not, there are several ways that you can pay your Philippine travel tax.

Online payments

You can pay your travel tax online in advance before your departure date in the Philippines in different ways.

It’s highly recommended that you do this so you will not spend hours lining up at the airport.

First is through your airlines. Selected airlines offer the option of paying Philippine travel tax online on their websites. Here are some of them:

If your airline doesn’t offer these services, your second choice is going to the website of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority or TIEZA.

Here is the step-by-step process of using their Online Travel Tax Payment System (OTTPS):

If your airline doesn’t offer these services, your second choice is going to the website of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority or TIEZA.

Here is the step-by-step process of using their Online Travel Tax Payment System (OTTPS):

  • Create an account on the TIEZA website by providing basic details.
  • Validate your account through their confirmation email.
  • Complete the required details like passport number, address, and contact number.
  • On the TIEZA homepage, go to the “Travel Tax” tab.
  • Provide ticket or confirmation number
  • Choose your payment method which can be through credit/debit card or over-the-counter.

Take note that there is an additional convenience fee charged for 1-2 USD depending on your bank.
Also, don’t forget to check your email and print 2 copies of your receipt.

These will be submitted at the check-in counter on the day of your flight.

In-Person payment

If you still want to do it the old-school way but still want to skip the line at the airport, you can pay your travel tax in advance in several malls in the Philippines. Here are some of the mall counters around Metro Manila where you can pay your travel tax.

  • SM Mall of Asia Travel Tax Service Counter (Pasay City)
  • SM City Manila Travel Tax Service Counter (Manila City)
  • SM City North EDSA Travel Tax Service Counter (Quezon City)
  • Robinsons Galleria Travel Tax Service Counter (Mandaluyong City)

Your last choice would be lining up at the airport to pay your travel tax.

The good thing is, it’s relatively easy. You just have to show your ticket and your passport. Don’t worry as all airports in the Philippines have tax service counters usually located in the departure areas.

Remember your mandatory terminal fee? If the terminal tax is not yet included in your ticket, you can pay it on the airport’s tax service counters.

I want a refund on my travel tax, what do I do?

Maybe your flight got canceled or you suddenly have a change of heart, you can ask for a refund for your Philippine travel tax if you paid it in advance as long as you are under one of these conditions:

  • Your ticket is unused.
  • You accidentally paid travel tax twice.
  • You are exempted from paying the tax, but you already paid.
  • You downgraded from first-class to economy class.
  • You were removed or offloaded from your flight.
  • Your flight was canceled.

Luckily, refunding is an easy process as long as you have your supporting documents.

You can claim your tax refund within two years from your date of payment online or in-person.

It’s either through the TIEZA website, your airline, or selected travel tax centers in the Philippines.

Here are the steps for online tax refund:

  • Go to Travel Tax Refund under the TIEZA website.
  • Fill up their TIEZA Refund application form.
  • Present passport and documents to the Travel Tax officer.
  • Get a check of the refund.

The documents that you need to present depends on your case, but the main requirements are your passport and your airline ticket with travel tax payment or official receipt if paid at TIEZA.

You may check the complete list of requirements at TIEZA’s website.

And you’re all set! Now you know your travel tax basics, make sure to keep them in mind when you plan your trip.

A handy tip is to pay them in advance so you can throw that worry out of your way.

Lastly, go get your passport and ticket because no taxes should hold you back from visiting the Philippines!

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