Environmental fee for tourists proposal pushed anew in Lapu-Lapu Council
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Annabeth Cuizon has continued to pursue her proposed ordinance collecting environmental fees for tourists visiting the city.
Earlier, Cuizon proposed that the environmental fees would be collected by hotels and resorts, inns, apartelles, pension houses, restaurants, bars, cafes, bistros, and other similar establishments. The councilor proposed a P100 environmental fee for each tourist arriving in the city.
However, the proposal earned negative comments from the stakeholders in hotels and resorts, describing the proposal as hypocritical and would make the city less attractive compared to its neighboring destinations.
In her revised proposal, the councilor suggested that the city would establish booths within ports where the environmental fee would be collected.
On Monday, the city council convened with various pump boat owners and operators in the session hall, to discuss the ordinance.
Pumpboat operators asked to participate
Cuizon asked for the participation and cooperation of pump boat owners and operators in implementing the ordinance if ever this will be approved by the council.
“Magbutang ta dinha og booth, before sila mosakay sa inyong pumpboat,” Cuizon said.
(We will put a booth, before they will ride on your pumpboat.)
Cuizon asked the boat operators to ensure that all of their guests, who would be having island hopping and other similar activities, have paid and secured an environmental fee ticket.
What pumpboat operators should do
“Pero ang involvement sa mga pump boat operators not to collect, ang inyo lang is to ensure nga ang inyong guests have already paid their environmental fee,” she said.
(But the involvement of the pumpboat operators is not to collect, your job is just to ensure that the guests have already paid their environmental fee.)
Cuizon also proposed that the environmental fee would be P100 for foreign tourists and P50 for local tourists.
Where money will go
The revenue generated from this fee will be allocated toward environmental management, development, protection, and remediation efforts.
During the public hearing, both sides engaged in a productive exchange of ideas regarding potential enhancements to the current draft of the city ordinance.
Aside from fee amount, they also discussed the exemptions, discounts, and the method of fee collection, among other matters.
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