ANGELES CITY -- Oppositionist Councilor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. vowed to work on the removal of the P20 tourism promotion and development fee being charged to hotel customers in the city if he is elected mayor.
Lazatin declared this during the mayoralty forum sponsored by the Hotel and Restaurants Association in Pampanga, Inc. (HARP) Wednesday, November 21 at Oasis Hotel.
The mayoralty candidate received applause from HARP members when he said that he will ask the City Council to immediately repeal Section 4.GG.02 of the Tax Ordinance No. 61, Series of 2011 or Ordinance Codifying the Tax and other revenue-raising ordinances of Angeles City, charging P20 tourism promotion and development fee.
Lazatin explained that he questioned the usage of the fund after seeing some parts of the ordinance.
He disclosed that there were also plans that the funds will be used in a city official's trip to New York City.
“I wanted to know how they will use the fund. If it will be returned back to the organization that pays for it, then I do not have any more issues. But we will not use it so that somebody can go abroad na may kasama pang boy. I was just so pissed during that time, that’s how they wanted to use the fund,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin said he will also remove all additional and unnecessary fees and taxes being charged to local businessmen.
He added that he is planning to implement government and private partnership in promoting tourism events for the city.
In the same forum, Lazatin also announced that once elected, his first order of business will be to clean out the “rotten eggs” in the City Government, especially those who use their position to extort businesses in the city.
“Ang magiging administration po natin ay may paninindigan,” Lazatin stressed, “Ang ibig pong sabihin nito, we will clean out the corrupt employees in the City Government, regardless of their affiliation.”
Lazatin said that the application for business permits in the city will be modernized under his administration.
“The present Business-One-Stop-Shop was first implemented during the administration of my father,” Lazatin said, referring to former three-term Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin. “Under our administration, we plan to improve this further by properly implementing the city’s online business application system, starting with proper information dissemination. We are in the age of information technology and we need to take advantage and use it to improve the delivery of public services.”
At present, the Angeles City Government has an online business application system, the E-BOSS or Electronic Business One-Stop Shop.
However, the service has yet to be widely used by businesses in the city, according to Lazatin.
The Business Permit and Licensing Division stated that in 2017, only 16 businesses applied permits through the E-BOSS system.