Collection of env’t fees from visitors, businesses backed
The City Treasury Office (CTO) expressed its support to the proposed ordinance mandating the collection of environmental fee from establishments and environmental users charge from individuals visiting parks and other public places in the city.
However, City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias emphasized the need for the legislative body or the proponents of the measures to provide mechanisms that would ensure that the fees will be effectively and efficiently collected.
He said it is difficult to rely on the management of accommodation facilities to collect the proposed fees, citing his office’s difficulty in collecting occupancy taxes from said establishments.
He added the city council should put in place a reliable system to ensure that fees collected from visitors are properly remitted to the city government
The city council is deliberating on a proposed ordinance that sought to impose environmental fees on guest houses, tourist hotels, inns, transient, or lodging houses in the city.
The ordinance, authored by councilors Benny Bomogao, Joel Alangsab, and Arthur Alad-iw, stated that environmental fees shall be imposed on owners, proprietors, and clients of hotels, inns, transient, or lodging houses and persons visiting parks or attractions managed and maintained by the local government.
Under the proposal, environmental fees, ranging from P1,000 to P20,000 depending on the number of rooms an establishment has, shall be paid upon the owners’ renewal of their business permits or anytime during the year.
The city council is also deliberating on a proposed ordinance that sought to impose an environmental user’s fee on visitors frequenting parks and other attraction sites in the city.
The ordinance authored by councilors Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon and Alangsab stated it is a policy of the city government to promote the protection and conservation of natural resources pursuant to environmental laws and assure the wise use and management of the city’s natural resources by maintaining a sound ecological balance and enhancing the environment.
The proposal sought to impose P75 on every visitor entering a tourist destination in the city.
Cabarrubias welcomed the proposals that are meant to generate revenues but added the implementation of the same should not be lodged with the CTO because it lacks manpower. – PIO release