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Proposed crackdown on illegal tourism firms passes 3rd reading

The local government will penalize tourism establishments that don’t comply with rules on acquiring permits to operate in the city.

On Thursday, members of the City Council approved on final reading the proposed ordinance imposing penalties on establishments operating without a business permit or tourism license. The ordinance also punishes those establishments with late permit renewal.

The ordinance was introduced to ensure the efficient and effective operation of all tourism-oriented and tourism-related establishments to safeguard the tourists visiting the city.

Councilor Myrna Ortiz, the city council’s committee chair on tourism, bared that non-compliant establishments have affected the city’s tourism industry. For instance, they are depriving the city government of its just due because it could not collect the necessary fees from their operations.

Also, the tourists are guaranteed legitimate services and protection.

Based on the committee report, the Tourist Police here have recorded 38 tourist establishments given license by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Accreditation of Establishments

The ordinance will prohibit a person to keep, manage, or operate any building and edifice for the purpose of engaging the tourism business without first securing approval from the Business Permit and Licensing Office, and a certificate of accreditation of the establishment from the Tourism and Promotion Department.

A fine of P1,000 per month of operation will be imposed for establishments with business permits but without tourism licenses; a P1,000 fine for establishments with late tourism license; and a P2,000 fine for establishments operating without business permits and tourism licenses.

Meanwhile, the Davao City Tourism Operations Office (DCTOO), headed by Gene Rose Tecson, together with the city’s Business Bureau, has been going after establishments that do not have either tourism licenses or business permits.

Tecson revealed that “they are having difficulty with online ticketing offices, bogus travel agencies and travel operators, and colorum vehicles.”

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