MANILA, Philippines—The government is considering another hike in airport fees paid by passengers at the country’s main gateway in Manila to fund badly needed facility improvements.
Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said a P200-hike in terminal fees for international passengers would be necessary to improve the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals, which has been repeatedly cited in international polls as one of the worst terminals airports in the world.
“Terminal fees will have to go back up to P750 per passenger. That’s being processed right now,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
The terminal fee per passenger at NAIA is currently pegged at P550. Fees were earlier raised to P750 per head in 2007 to fund the acquisition of state-of-the-art security equipment at the airport terminals.
“That was a temporary increase and the MIAA [Manila International Airport Authority] only had the authority for that until last February,” Roxas said.
Roxas said the hike in fees would help fund the government’s plans for the rehabilitation of the three-decade-old NAIA Terminal 1, as well as the additional work needed to fully operationalize the NAIA Terminal 3.
According to Roxas, all other airports around the world charge terminal fees as well—contrary to the misconception that only the Philippines is one of the few places in the world where the practice is done.
“The difference is that with other countries, terminal fees are included in their ticket prices… That’s why it’s seamless,” he said.
“The reason why plane ticket prices are exclusive of terminal fees here in the Philippines is because our airlines don’t want it,” Roxas said. He said airlines that have flights to the Philippines have refused to collect terminal fees on the government’s behalf due to the country’s complicated system of exemptions covering senior citizens and overseas Filipino workers, among others.