100% travel tax exemption for seniors sought

NOT removing the VAT exemption already being enjoyed by senior citizens and persons with disabilities is the "good news" for finance officials?

Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol said he will push for full exemption of senior citizens from paying travel tax to encourage the elderly to travel and enjoy retirement.

“Pabor ang House Bill 8884 sa lahat ng Pinoy seniors, mapa-mahirap man o middle class, na minsa’y kailangang bumiyahe para makapagpagamot, makabisita sa mga kamag-anak, o kaya’y makapamasyal para naman mag-enjoy. Para sa kanila ang 20 percent travel tax discount sa House Bill 8884,”  according to Datol.

The vice chair of the House Special Committee on Senior Citizens plans to come up with the legislation in the next Congress and suggested that airlines, cruise ship companies, and their booking agents update their booking software and procedures as early as now.

“Paghandaan na ito dapat  habang may panahon pa, para makinabang agad ang seniors at makinabang rin and transport firms dahil madagdagan sila ng mga pasahero,” said Datol one of the principal authors of HB 8884.

Expanding the travel discount coverage to include Filipino seniors would significantly reduce the cost of their international travel and consequently entice more of them to travel overseas for pleasure or return as balikbayans,  Datol also said.

“I think a national database of all seniors registered at the local government units would be the best way for computerized efficiency, not just for availment of the travel tax, but for availment of all the other benefits due to seniors under our laws,” Datol added.

He said this database can be built in conjunction with the national ID system and implemented by the Department of Information and Communications, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippine Statistics Authority, and the soon to be created National Commission on Senior Citizens.

House Bill 8884 was approved on third and final reading by the House on 4 February and was transmitted to the Senate on 6 February.