March 24, 2023

As Baguio City continues to attract domestic and international travelers, Councilor Lilia Fariñas has passed an ordinance enjoining all AirBnb businesses to apply for an accreditation with the City Tourism and Special Events Office under the City Administrator’s Office.

AirBnb, which stands for Air Bed and Breakfast, is a service provided by property owners who rent out their spaces to travelers looking for a place to stay.

Through the accreditation, airbnb businesses shall be given ratings from one-star to five-star depending on the quality of their services and amenities.

In the proposed ordinance, Fariñas cited Section 123 of Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009, which emphasizes the value of accreditation among primary and secondary tourism enterprises.

The Act states “only accredited enterprises shall be beneficiaries of promotional training and other programs of the Department (of Tourism) and its attached agencies and corporations,” among other things.

Likewise, the proposed ordinance shall encourage the airbnb providers to form an organization/association.

This, according to Farinas, will help them better promote their business, thus boosting their income and providing more accommodation for tourists in the city.

Under the proposed ordinance, a city AirBnb coordinating council shall be created to be chaired by the city mayor and co-chaired by the chairperson of the city council’s committee on tourism, special events, parks, and playgrounds with the city administrator as the action officer, city tourism and special events officer as the secretary, and Baguio AirBnb providers as members.

Once enacted, the ordinance shall be called the AirBnb Ordinance of Baguio City.

The proposed ordinance has been approved on first reading by the city council and referred to the committee on tourism, special events, parks, and playgrounds to be reviewed. – Jordan G. Habbiling