After a series of meetings and public consultations, the Committee on Tourism, led by Hon. Nerio D. Zamora II, have finalized the ordinance regulating the operation of floating cottages in the municipal waters of the City of Tagbilaran. The Ordinance, which was presented during the regular session of the 14th Sangguniang Panlungsod on July 9, provides the following regulated acts:a. No person shall operate a floating cottage for commercial purpose/use without first securing a Mayor’s Permit and paying the corresponding fees imposed under the Revenue Code. b. The ownership of floating cottages shall be reserved only to: i) duly registered voters of the City of Tagbilaran; ii) duly accredited people’s organization of the City; or iii) registered cooperatives. Preference must be given to any voting residents of a specific Barangay where the floating cottage shall operate duly certified as such by the Commission on Election. c. Only one (1) floating cottage per one (1) operator shall be allowed. d. The City Mayor, upon recommendation of the City Agriculture and Veterinary Office, City Tourism Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and concerned Barangay Council, shall fix the maximum number of floating cottage that shall be allowed to operate in a specific barangay and the designated area wherein they are allowed to operate. e. Floating cottages for commercial purpose/use shall only be allowed to operate in the Barangays of Mansasa, Cogon, Booy, Taloto, Ubujan and Manga, being the delineated Ecotourism Zone of the City in accordance with Ordinance No. C-204, Series of 2007. The Ordinance also provides for rules and regulations to be followed, revenue sharing for fees collected, enforcement mechanism and the penalties for violation of any provision of the ordinance. City Vice Mayor Jose Antonio ” Toto” S. Veloso, presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, approved the ordinance after the third reading of the proposed ordinance. Vice Mayor Veloso stated that the Sanggunian passed the ordinance after several floating cottages were seen operating in the coastal barangays of the city. To ensure the protection of the environment, safety of the passengers and the sustainability of this new venture, there should be an ordinance that not only addresses these concerns but also establish the accountability of operators and the responsibility of the barangay and city.
July 29, 2021