A HOUSE panel approved on Wednesday a resolution that will renew the travel tax exemption for passengers departing from Mindanao and Palawan going to any destination within the special economic group covering Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. 

The House East ASEAN Growth Area committee approved House Resolution No. 454, which extends by five years the tax exemption policy that is due to expire in May.

The resolution said the travel tax exemption will aid the recovery of the tourism sector from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shangrila C. Quezon from the legal division of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority said only 12,013 tax exemptions were granted from 2018 to 2022. 

The government collects travel tax, ranging from P400 to P2,700, from Filipinos and resident aliens for foreign travels, except overseas workers, Filipinos who are permanent residents abroad, and children below two years old. 

Committee vice-chair John Tracy F. Cagas said that a bill will be filed to make the approved resolution permanent.

The committee also agreed to look into allowing tax exemptions for travelers coming from Luzon and Visayas going to BIMP-EAGA destinations. 

BIMP-EAGA or the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area covers the entire sultanate of Brunei; the provinces of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua in Indonesia; the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan in Malaysia; and Mindanao and Palawan in the Philippines. Beatriz Marie D. Cruz