Environmental fees to be charged from accommodation facilities in city

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance charging environmental fees for guest houses, tourist hotels, inns, transient or lodging houses in the city and for other purposes.

The ordinance authored by Councilors Benny Bomogao, Joel Alangsab and Arthur Alad-iw states that the prescribed environmental fees shall be imposed on owners, proprietors and clients of hotels, inns, transient or lodging houses and persons visiting parks or tourist attractions managed and maintained by the city government. Owners or proprietors of hotels, inns, transient or lodging houses shall pay annual environmental fees, P1,000 for those 5 rooms and below , P2,000 for those not more than 10 rooms, P5,000 for those not more than 20 rooms, P6,000 for those not more than 30 rooms, P10,000 for those not more than 50 rooms and P20,000 for those more than 50 rooms.

The ordinance stipulates the environmental fees charged shall be paid upon renewal of business permits or anytime during the fiscal year.

The ordinance adds clients of hotels, inns, transient or lodging houses shall pay the amount of P100 per room accommodation which shall be included in their billing receipts and to be remitted by the owners or proprietors to the city government, provided that, such amount shall not be included in the gross receipts for purposes of computations of business taxes and other fees imposed by or due to the city and that the same shall be remitted quarterly by those covered by the proposed measure.

The ordinance outlines the city government will be charging P50 for every visit to Botanical Garden and Mines View Park, and other parks that will be developed by the city, and P50 per horseback ride at Wright Park.

The ordinance mandates the City Treasury Office to issue information letter of coverage to establishments falling under the pertinent provisions of the measure and that the same shall take effect in the next fiscal year following the approval of the same and only after the issuance of letter of coverage.

The ordinance claims the City Mayor may issue the necessary orders for the effective implementation of the pertinent provisions of the measure.

According to the proposed ordinance, the payment of environmental fees by those covered by the measure and one-time payment of environmental fee in the amount of P100 shall exempt not more than 2 persons from the payment of the same upon showing receipt in visiting parks or other tourist attractions.

The ordinance claims those exempted from the collection of environmental fees are those children aged 12 and below, elementary and high school students on educational tour, provided that, the same shall have been coordinated with the City Tourism Office and persons with disabilities.

Further, those that will be discounted will be those 13 to 221 years old – 20 percent; students and senior citizens – 20 percent and to avail of the discount, students and senior citizens must show their identification card to the collectors.

By Dexter A. See