Mayor Benjamin Magalong ordered a crackdown on accommodation establishments (AEs) that continue to violate the city’s laws, particularly those that do not have business permits, do not pay their occupancy taxes and do not submit tourist arrival data. Three offices – the City Treasury Office (CTO), Permits and Licensing Division (PLD) of the Baguio City Mayor’s Office and the City Tourism and Special Events Division have began to jointly launch an operation against erring AEs in various parts of the city.

PLD Chief Allan Abayao said initial operations conducted last June 7-8 yielded a total of 144 recalcitrant AEs, mostly condominiums, transient houses and apartments. All the 144 failed to submit tourist arrival data violating Ordinance No. 120-2017 or the Tourism Statistics Standards of
Baguio City, while a total of 111 failed to pay the mandated hotel room occupancy tax and 85 were found to be operating without business permits, which is a violation of Ordinance No. 2000-01.

The said AEs were issued notices of violations which require them to rectify their violations
within three working days upon receipt of the notice. Failure to do so would result in imposition of
sanctions. Magalong’s order stemmed from the report of City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo on the unhampered operation of unpermitted AEs, which he said, discourages legitimate ones from renewing their permits.

He also said the majority of the legitimate AEs failed to fulfil their obligation to submit their
tourist arrival data to their office thereby preventing the city from obtaining accurate tourist arrival
statistics hampering its data gathering and developmental programs for the sector. Some AEs also refused to pay the occupancy tax resulting in loss of revenue for the city, the
mayor bared.

The tourism office said they have logged more than 1,500 registered AEs referring to hotels, condotels, serviced residence, resorts, apartelles, motels, pension houses, homestay sites, tourist
inns, transient lodging houses, campgrounds, glamping grounds and the like.

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

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