, DECEMBER 14, 2006 (STAR) By Rainier Allan Ronda - International air travelers will have to pay P200 or $3.50 more in airport fees beginning January, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Alfonso Cusi said yesterday.

Cusi said the additional collection will represent "security and development" charge. The new fees will be in addition to the current P550 "passenger service charge" or terminal fee. This means departing international passengers will have to pay a total of P750 each in "airport user’s fee."

Cusi said they will still have to discuss when to exactly begin collecting the "security fee." He stressed it will definitely be after Jan. 1.

"We’re still choosing a date when to start collecting the fee. So far, we don’t have a date yet," Cusi told The STAR.

He pointed out that MIAA had satisfied all the administrative and procedural requirements needed to start the collection of additional fees.

He said the decision had been subjected to public hearings and that it was in coordination with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and even with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

Cusi also revealed that MIAA is now coordinating with airlines to add the airport users’ fees to ticket charges so that departing passengers will not have to make the separate payment at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

In the public hearings, MIAA said funds from the new fees will be used to purchase security gadgets and equipment for NAIA Terminals 1 and 2 and for the Domestic Airport.

MIAA had originally planned to impose an additional US$5 security fee but this was branded as excessive by international airlines during the public hearings.

72,000 tax evaders unmasked By Perseus Echeminada The Philippine Star 12/14/2006

A promotion of the Bureau of Internal Revenue offering a P1-million prize for lucky texters of tax information numbers has unmasked 72,000 alleged tax evaders nationwide.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said he will personally draw 10 lucky entries that will win P 1 million each.

"The Doble Panalo sa Resibo is our Christmas gift to millions of texters who have helped (make) the Premyo sa Resibo campaign a success, in fact this is just the beginning as we plan to give away even more prizes and larger Premyo sa Resibo resumes next year," he said.

There will be 20 consolation prizes of P100,000 each for a total of P2 million, he added.

The Premyo Sa Resibo raffle is offering some P 12 million for its Grand Christmas Draw scheduled on Dec. 20 at the Market! Market! in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.

The campaign encourages people to text the TIN numbers of official receipts in their purchases to a central computer center where the TIN numbers are verified with the data bank of TIN at the BIR.

The program has enabled the BIR to trace invalid TIN numbering to 72,000 people, who are now undergoing tax fraud investigations.

Aside from tracking down tax evaders, the Premyo sa Resibo is also helping the tax collection effort of the BIR because businesses are obliged to issue tax receipts that will be the basis of their tax payments.

To participate in the raffle, one has to text PSR space TIN numbers space, receipt number (asterisk) receipt amount and send to 9777.

A minimum purchase of P5.50 up to P100 is entitled one entry.

Since its launch, Premyo sa Resibo has awarded over P23 million worth of prizes from all over the Philippines.

The new millionaires come from Davao City, La Union, Bulacan, Cavite, Marikina, Quezon City, Pasay City, Las Piñas, Pasig and San Juan.

Winners of P 100,000 consolation prizes are from Cebu, Iloilo, Bukidnon, Legaspi City, Nueva Vizcaya, Oriental Mindoro, Dagupan City, Bulacan, Baguio, Cavite, Pasay City, Caloocan City, San Juan and Quezon City.

Among the winners who texted their receipts from daily transactions was 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver medalist Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved