BAGUIO CITY – A Baguio City councilor is seeking the city to make tourists pay when they bring their own cars to Baguio City. Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. has already earned the nod of his colleagues for the proposed ordinance to impose a congestion fee to all tourists bringing their private vehicles into the City of Pines.
All visiting vehicle owners or drivers shall pay P50.00 upon entry to the city, Yangot proposed. According to Yangot, one of the amendments he might introduce in the later version of the proposal is the exemption of citizens from the La Trinidad – Itogon – Sablan – Tuba – Tublay (LISTT) areas or even from all parts of the Cordillera region. Yangot said the measure aims to help in reducing the worsening traffic problem in the city.
Yangot stressed that traffic is one of the biggest headaches of the city. “Traffic can at least be minimized or controlled to a tolerable level,” he explained. He added that imposing a congestion fee is one way to regulate the entry of visitor cars to the city. Yangot pointed out that all collected fees shall be deposited in a trust fund to be used for programs and activities to mitigate traffic congestion in the city. The City Treasury Office shall be tasked to formulate the guidelines and to monitor the implementation of the ordinance.
Baguio City has already started its Hop On-Hop Off project for tourists as a complementary measure in decongesting vehicular traffic in the city especially during weekends when tourists peak.
Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN