Various government and tourism officials led by Gov. Edgar Chatto will hold on Wednesday the first multi-agency dialogue on the Carmen government’s planned 100-percent entrance fee increase at the Chocolate Hills Complex.
The meeting was set after a three-panel Provincial Board (PB) committee last September decided to raise the issue before the Office of the Governor, Provincial Legal Office and Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) for further scrutiny.
According to acting Provincial Administrator John Boiser, the meeting is set to be conducted at the Governor’s Mansion in Tagbilaran City at 1 p.m.
Chatto will be joined by PTC chairman Lucas Nunag and PB tourism committee chair Board Member Kristine Alexie Tutor in discussing the proposal, said Boiser.
The Carmen government’s plan, if unimpeded, will raise the entrance fee at the tourist complex from P50 to P100 effective January 1, 2018.
Carmen Mayor Ricardo Toribio previously bared that the fee increase was supposed to be implemented on January 1, 2015 but the move was deferred due to ongoing repairs at the quake-hit structure.
In his letter to the PB dated September 6, 2017, Toribio cited Section 6E.02 of the town’s Revenue Code as basis for the fee hike.
The measure was passed on August 11, 2014, he said.
The mayor told the PB that it is high time for the increase to be implemented as the rehabilitation of the complex which was damaged by the 2013 earthquake has been completed.
Thirty percent of the Chocolate Hills Complex’s net income goes to the provincial government while the 70 percent goes to the local government unit of Carmen.
According to Toribio, the town’s 29 villages are also allocated sums from the LGU’s earnings for their solid waste management programs and the maintenance of barangay roads.
After Toribio submitted the letter, three panels of the PB discussed the planned increase at the SP conference room in September.
The inquiry was led by Board Member Elpidio Jala who chairs the SP’s committee on ways and means, while he was joined by members of the provincial legislature’s tourism and appropriations committees.
The committees then decided to raise the issue before the governor and tourism officials. (rt)