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PHILIPPINE TRAVEL TAX: How to Pay + How to Apply for Exemption & Refund


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One of the things that we, Filipinos, need to take care of before any international trip is the travel tax. But did you know that not all travelers have to pay this? Certain types of travelers are eligible for exemption or reduced rate. In this article, we’ll tackle all these, so read on!

WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

What is travel tax?

The Philippine travel tax (or simply “travel tax”) is a levy collected from travelers leaving the Philippines. Sometimes, it is already included in your flight booking. Most of the time, you need to settle this on your own at the airport.

But this amount doesn’t go to the airline. It goes to the Philippine government:

  • 50% of the proceeds to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
  • 40% to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
  • 10% to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)

How much is the travel tax?

In most cases, the travel tax costs PHP 1,620 for economy class passengers or PHP 2700 for first class passengers.

I say “most cases” because some types of travelers are eligible for lower or reduced rates.

Here’s the price matrix:

Travel Tax How Much

So who can avail of the reduced travel tax?


REDUCED Travel Tax Eligibility & Requirements

Travelers falling under eligible classes can pay reduced or discounted travel tax instead of the full amount. There are two main categories: STANDARD reduced travel tax and PRIVILEGED reduced travel tax.

To avail of the reduced rates, you may apply online or on site:

  • If you don’t have a flight ticket yet, accomplish this TIEZA form online.
  • If you’ve already booked your flight, you may file at any TIEZA travel tax office including the travel tax counter at the counter.

Here are the eligible types of passengers and the corresponding documents you need to present to avail of the reduced rates.

STANDARD Reduced Travel Tax

CHILDREN: 2 years and 1 day to 12 years old

  • Original Passport
  • Flight booking confirmation, if issued
  • If the original passport can’t be presented, submit original birth certificate and photocopy of identification page of passport

Accredited Filipino journalists on assignment

  • Original Passport
  • Flight booking confirmation, if issued
  • Certification from the Office of the Press Secretary
  • Certification from the station manager or editor

Individuals with authorization from the President

  • Original Passport
  • Flight booking confirmation, if issued
  • Written authorization from the Office of the President

PRIVILEGED Reduced Travel Tax

Some family members of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) may avail of the reduced rates if they’re traveling to the country where the OFW is based and able to provide the following documents:

OFW’s Legitimate Spouse

  • Original Passport
  • Flight booking confirmation, if issued
  • OEC – Overseas Employment Certificate (original copy) or Balik-Manggagawa Form (certified true copy)
  • Marriage contract, original or authenticated
  • Certification that the seaman’s dependent is joining the vessel, issued by the manning agency

OFW’s children who are unmarried and below 21 years old (legitimate or illegitimate)

  • Original Passport
  • Flight booking confirmation, if issued
  • OEC – Overseas Employment Certificate (original copy) or Balik-Manggagawa Form (certified true copy)
  • Birth certificate, original or authenticated
  • Certification that the seaman’s dependent is joining the vessel, issued by the manning agency

OFW’s children with disabilities (regardless of age)

  • Original Passport
  • Flight booking confirmation, if issued
  • OEC – Overseas Employment Certificate (original copy) or Balik-Manggagawa Form (certified true copy)
  • Birth certificate, original or authenticated
  • Certification that the seaman’s dependent is joining the vessel, issued by the manning agency
  • PWD ID card, original copy issued by a National Council of Disability Affairs (NCDA) office

EXEMPTION Eligibility & Requirements

Some travelers are also exempted from paying the travel tax altogether. TIEZA has identified 19 types of passengers who are eligible for exemption including international flight crew members, diplomats, and Philippine officials on official business.

But let’s highlight these four (4) categories as these are the most inclusive:

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

  • Original passport
  • Copy of passport bio page
  • 2×2 ID photo, taken within the past six months (JPG only)
  • Airline ticket or flight booking
  • If hired through POEA, Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
  • If directly hired abroad, Employment Contract authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate OR Certificate of Employment issued by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate

Balikbayans whose stay in the Philippines is shorter than one year

  • Original passport
  • Copy of passport bio page
  • 2×2 ID photo, taken within the past six months (JPG only)
  • Copy of stamp of last departure from the Philippines and stamp of arrival in the Philippines, which should show duration of at least one (1) year
  • Flight ticket/booking used to travel to the Philippines

Filipino permanent residents abroad whose stay in the Philippines is shorter than
one year

  • Original passport
  • Copy of passport bio page
  • 2×2 ID photo, taken within the past six months (JPG only)
  • Airline ticket or flight booking
  • Copies of the stamp of last arrival in the Philippines
  • Proof of permanent residence abroad (US Green card, Canadian Form 1000, or similar)
  • Certification of Residence, issued by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate (if the country of residence does not grant permanent resident status or appropriate entries in the passport)

Infants (2 years old and below)

  • Original passport
  • Copy of passport bio page
  • 2×2 ID photo, taken within the past six months (JPG only)
  • Airline ticket or flight booking
  • If the original passport cannot be presented, birth certificate (original copy)

There are 15 more eligible types. To see the full list of eligible passengers and corresponding requirements, visit this page.


How to Pay Travel Tax

There are several ways to settle the travel tax.

Option A: Upon booking your flight

Some legacy airlines automatically include the Philippine travel tax in each booking. Most low-cost carriers don’t, but give you an option to do so.

When booking with Cebu Pacific and AirAsia, the system will ask you if you want to include the travel tax in your payment. It comes with a PHP 50 processing fee.

Option B: At the Airport Travel Tax Counter

This is the most common and my preferred way of paying.

Airport Travel Tax Counter

TIEZA has travel tax counters at all terminals of all international airports in the Philippines. At Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, you’ll find a counter at every aisle. Just approach one and present the following:

  • passport
  • flight booking confirmation

Once paid, you will be handed two copies of the official TIEZA receipt. You can keep the original copy to yourself, but the duplicate copy must be submitted to the check-in agent in order to receive your boarding pass.

If you’re not sure if it’s already included in your flight ticket, check the payment breakdown in your booking confirmation. It should show you the various taxes and fees that you paid for, but look specifically for PH TAX that costs P1620 (P2700 for first class) or equivalent amount in foreign currency.

If you find it, no need to pay at the airport. Otherwise, don’t pay just yet because you might be double charged. Instead, skip the travel tax counter and line up to the check-in counter directly. As you check in, the agent will tell you whether or not the travel tax has been settled. If not, they will instruct you to pay first and return to them with the receipt before they could give you a boarding pass.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to queue up again. Just walk straight to the agent when you come back.

Option C: Via the TIEZA Website

You can also pay online in advance. Just visit the TIEZA Payment Page, fill out the form, and select the most convenient payment method for you.

Payment through TIEZA Website
Payment through TIEZA Website

You can pay through any of the following:

  • E-wallet: GCash, GrabPay, Maya, ShopeePay
  • Credit card: Visa, MasterCard
  • Bank Transfer: BDO, BPI, UnionBank, Metrobank, RCBC, Maybank, Instapay
  • Over the Counter: 7-Eleven, Cebuana Lhuiller, Western Union, Bayad Center, EC Pay, The SM Store, Robinsons Malls, etc.

⚠️ Note: The TIEZA website charges a processing fee of PHP 50. In addition, paying via GrabPay and credit card entails additional charge of 1.4% of total amount.

Travel tax Processing Fee

travel tax GCash payment

Travel Tax Over the Counter Payment


Travel Tax Refund

You can file for a refund if you paid when you’re not supposed to or you paid more than what you’re supposed to.

Here are the acceptable reasons or cases for a refund:

  • You didn’t get to travel because the flight was cancelled, you were offloaded, or you just chose not to for whatever reason.
  • You’re a non-immigrant foreigner who are not subject to the Philippine travel tax.
  • You’re eligible for travel tax exemption.
  • You’re eligible for reduced travel tax but you paid the full amount. In this case, you can get a partial refund.
  • You paid for first-class passage but you were downgraded to economy class. Partial refund applies.
  • You paid the travel tax TWICE for the same ticket.

If you paid the travel tax at the airport counter, you can get the refund on the same day or at the latest, within the next 24 hours. If you paid it via other channels, it might take longer to process, depending on your selected payment method.

In general, here are the requirements you need to present to claim a refund:

  • original passport
  • TIEZA refund form no. 353
  • TIEZA travel tax receipt
  • airline ticket showing you paid the travel tax (if included in the flight payment)

But depending on your reason, there may be additional documents you need to present to support your case. You can find the full list of requirements here.

You can file for a refund claim within 2 YEARS from the date of payment. If you have unflown tickets from last year or so, you can still get a refund for that now.


Updates Log

2024 • 5 • 9: Original publication



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