Goking on water tax: Let's hear from the people

CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor George Goking is pushing to include the public in the deliberations of the proposed imposition of the Ecological Services fee.

Goking, the chairperson for the committee on ways and means said in the previous consultation, only the barangay officials and government representatives were invited, and not the ordinary residents of the city.

"We should hear the residents' opinions and concerns because these should be our guidance in crafting laws. The business sector should also be heard. We need to consult them because they are already paying taxes to the city," he added.

The proposed ordinance imposes a 25 centavos per cubic meter charge for residential consumers and an additional 50 centavos per cubic meter for commercial consumers.

The Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD) is meanwhile tasked as the agency to collect the fees which will reflected in the monthly water bill.

"We also need to have a massive information campaign before we approve it," he added.

The committee is yet to schedule the next meeting but Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya said he is set to present his own version of the proposed ordinance which is meant to protect watersheds.

The ordinance is in line with Section 16 of Republic Act 7160 which provides that local government units shall ensure and support the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, and enhance the right of people to a balanced ecology, among others.


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