NAIA increased fee to P750

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — ALL outbound passengers in Manila will have to pay P200 in security fee starting tomorrow as a result of heightened security at the airport, an official said yesterday.

The fee would bring the total charges to P750 per passenger including the P550 terminal fee, said Alfonso Cusi, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority.

“The imposition of the security fee will be for a period of five years, and the [airport] is expected to raise P3.5 billion,” Cusi said. He said the money would be used to buy new security and communications equipment and upgrade old ones.

Migrant workers, airline crew, and children below two years old are exempted from the fee.

Meanwhile, Immigration yesterday said it would introduce new embarkation cards on Feb. 15 so that staff would know whether or not a departing or an arriving passenger was a government employee.

Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr. said the card would make it easy to track down government officials being subjected to a lifestyle check.

He said Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez was the one who suggested the new card, which would have a control number and would not allow passengers to conceal their occupation.

“Right now, the card only asks a passenger what his or her occupation is, thus a traveling government worker can just say that he is a businessman or somebody else,” said Gary Mendoza, the bureau’s chief of regulation.