BAGUIO

Environmental fee pushed

BAGUIO City Councilors Mylen Yaranon and Joel Alangsab are pushing for fees to be paid for the city.

The measure proposed to impose an Environmental User's Fee [EUF] of P75 to be collected from all tourists, travelers, and guests upon entering a tourist destination sites in the city.

The fee will only be good during their stay in that respective site. All funds collected will form part of the income of the city and will be a part of the General Funds.

"The City of Baguio is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations due to its cool climate and various tourist destinations. However, the increasing in tourism and economic activities within the City of Baguio has intensifies the risk of environmental degradation, destruction of our ecosystem, and an increase in land, air, and water pollution," the proposed measure states.

The ordinance was passed on first ready this week.

The proposed ordinance aims to revitalize the environment and reshape tourism promotion as the introduction of an environmental user's fee aims to regulate resource use or reduce pollution to promote human welfare and/or protect natural systems as well as to promote the idea of responsible tourism.

These fees will be used to defray the City's waste management and environmental programs.

According to the legislative body, policies of the local government unit include promotion of the protection and conservation of natural resources pursuant to existing Philippine environmental laws and assure the wise utilization and management on a sustainable basis of the city's natural resources with the necessity of maintaining a sound and ecological balance and enhancing the environment.

The local government also aims to uphold cultural heritage; enhance, and sustain the tourism activities in the city through the conservation and protection of various tourist destinations within the city, establish additional source of funding which shall be applied to finance the conservation, protection, and management of various tourist sites of the city, share responsibility for environmental protection, remediation, restoration and development by allocating costs to responsible agents and users.

The city also needs to generate funds by identifying additional sources of revenues to finance the implementation of environmental and tourism plans and projects and establish and implement partnerships and linkages among the local government, DENR, DOT, and other concerned national agencies, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

The EUF will be a charge imposed on any person who visits or enters the city if the law is passed.


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