BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a proposed ordinance known as the “Anti-scalping Ordinance in the City of Baguio” on first reading.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that the local legislative measure will be applicable to all residents and individuals operating with or without ticket offices or official booths within the territorial jurisdiction of the city.
Under the ordinance, scalping is generally defined as the mass purchase and resell of tickets at more expensive prices while scalper shall be understood as a person selling airline, bus, theatre, concert tickets and similar undertakings with or without profit outside the ticket office or official booth or place designated for purposes.
The ordinance added it shall be unlawful for any scalper or person to sell any airline, bus, theatre, concert tickets and similar undertakings with or without profit or for any person to buy any airline, bus, theatre, concert tickets or similar undertakings outside the ticket office or official booth or place designated for the purpose.
Further, the ordinance also prohibits any person to finance, manage or operate scalping which is pernicious or inimical to public interest.
Violators of any provision of the ordinance shall be fined not more than P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than 3 months or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
Yangot claimed the Local Government Code of the Philippines provides, in part, that the Sangguniang Panlungsod may enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress and impose appropriate penalties for fraudulent devices and ways to obtain money or property and such other activities inimical to the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of the city.
In cases where an event, game, trip or voyage is well received by patrons, he claimed scalping has been a very rampant practice among people desiring to make quick money, thus, purchasing tickets from unauthorized sellers carries a huge amount of risk.
According to him, economically, unregistered businesses such as the said scalpers deprive the local government coffers the much needed taxes to deliver government services or infrastructure.
Yangot pointed out from a consumers’ perspective, patrons are forced to purchase expensive admission tickets from scalpers at exorbitant prices and indeed, they have no recourse for a refund if an event is cancelled due to unavoidable reasons.
Worst, he asserted, the residents are reportedly scammed if the tickets are not delivered or the tickets are counterfeit by the scalpers, thus, scalping is equivalent to a fraudulent means to earn money which should be immediately suppressed and made illegal.
While there has been no reports of massive scalping in the city for the past several years, Yangot explained there is a need for the local government to put in place the appropriate measures that would prevent scalping in the city that would affect the credibility of the local government as a host to major activities organized by various groups and the private sector.
By Dexter A. See