Flying to BIMP-EAGA? Travel tax waived for certain travelers

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte renewed the travel tax exemption for travelers from Mindanao and Palawan who will fly to the regional grouping called BIMP-EAGA.

BIMP-EAGA refers to the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area. This is a subregional economic cooperation initiative by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Duterte ordered the travel tax exemption through Memorandum Order 23 that was signed on Tuesday, May 8, and released to reporters on Thursday, May 10.

Duterte said this is "for reasons of national interest and in order to sustain and accelerate economic development in Mindanao and Palawan."

The order said the travel tax exemption "shall be granted for a period of 5 years from the effectivity of this order.

It said a travel tax exemption certificate "may be secured from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority."

The House of Representatives earlier adopted a resolution urging Duterte to grant travel tax exemptions to passengers traveling from Mindanao and Palawan to any destination within BIMP-EAGA. 

In 1994 and 1995, former president Fidel Ramos also issued memorandum orders granting travel tax exemptions to passengers traveling from Mindanao and Palawan to any destination within the BIMP-EAGA. – Rappler.com