Librado doubts applicability of home-sharing app regulation

DAVAO City Councilor Leah Librado yesterday batted for a much clearer implementation procedure on the proposed amendments to the tourism code requiring home sharing applications to pay regulatory fees under the city government.

The proposed regulation of accommodations in Davao City enrolled in home sharing websites or applications was proposed by Davao City Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre.

"I am not against the ordinance but how do we go about identifying the establishments. Based on experience we only know the property who is the host after confirming the booking," she said.

Alejandre said they have left messages to each of the 400 hosts listed under AirBnB and he also said that they can also trace these hosts through pictures posted on the AirBnB website.

But this did not satisfy Librado.

She said that it would be difficult and dangerous to knock on each condominium unit to verify if they are part of the 400 listed.

"Most condominiums are the same, it is not easy to track," she said. Alejandre said that only one host was appearing during the hearing when they have invited the hosts.

He said it was also hard for the part of the City Tourism and Operations Office (CTOO) but it was the least they can do.

Alejandre said that the CTOO had already conducted a massive information drive on the tourism code and requirements for hosts accepting renters through home sharing applications.

Meanwhile, Alejandre revealed on Saturday that his committee already communicated, representing the city government, to Airbnb but the administrators of the said application has blocked them instead.

Aside from Librado, Davao city Councilor Jimmy Dureza asked if the amendment is necessary since it was already clear in the Tourism Code of the city that self-styled accommodations, which host guests through home sharing applications like Airbnb, are required and are subjected to regulatory fees under the city.

After a brief recess, Alejandre moved to defer the item to the next session.
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