PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has renewed the policy on travel tax exemption for travelers departing from all international airports and seaports in Mindanao and Palawan to any destination in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga).
Duterte signed Memorandum Order 23 on May 8, in a bid to "sustain and accelerate economic development" in Mindanao and Palawan by exempting travelers going to Bimp-Eaga from paying travel tax.
"The exemption from payment of travel tax for all travelers by air and/or sea from all international airports and/or seaports in Mindanao and Palawan to any destination in the Bimp-Eaga is hereby renewed," the President said.
The Bimp-Eaga is a sub-regional economic cooperation designed to spur economic development in the lagging sub-economies.
Duterte's order shall take effect "immediately."
Under the memorandum, the travel tax exemption shall be granted for a period of five years from the effectivity of the Chief Executive's order.
A travel tax exemption certificate may be secured from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.
Duterte also directed The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), in coordination with all relevant government agencies, to conduct an impact study on the implementation of his order.
The Neda was also tasked to submit an annual report to Duterte's office for the purpose of determining whether the exemption shall be continued or revoked.
Duterte inked the memorandum upon the recommendation of the House Representatives, which filed House Resolution 78 dated December 6, 2017, seeking the renewal of tax exemption for travelers to Bimp-Eaga coming from Mindanao and Palawan. (SunStar Philippines)