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Baguio City council wants business permits for golf courses
A golf course in Baguio City. File photo
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Management of Baguio’s two golf courses — at the Baguio Country Club and at Camp John Hay — have not been paying the city government what it is due, Vice Mayor Edison Bilog claims.
The statement was made in light of a resolution that the 14-member city council has approved directing the Permits and Licensing Division under the City Mayor’s Office to require golf courses to secure business permits.
City councilors also want a report on compliance with the resolution within 15 working days from the passage of the measure.
Resolution No. 072, series of 2017 entitled “Directing the Permits and Licensing Division, Office of the City Mayor, to Conduct Inspection of all Golf Courses in the City of Baguio and to Submit a Report to the Sangguniang Panlungsod within Seven (7) Days from the Approval of the resolution” was authored by VM Bilog.
He noted that after the conduct of the appropriate legislative monitoring and evaluation by the city council, the Baguio City Permits and Licensing Division reported on March 17, 2017 that “there are golf courses operating in the city without the required permits.”
Bilog pushed the Permits and Licensing Division “to use its teeth” in requiring these golf courses to secure permits and shut them down if they refuse to comply.
Local legislators are also requiring the City Treasury Office to report in detail what BCC and Camp John Hay golf courses owe the city and compel their managements to pay their obligations within a reasonable time.
A third golf course operated by the Sta. Lucia Realty and Development Corporation at Suello Village opened more than a year ago.
BCC spokesman Andrew Pinero, however, said that “BCC has a business permit and we have been and continuously been a top taxpayer of the city and BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue).”
VM Bilog, speaking with The STAR on Saturday afternoon said he noticed a huge discrepancy what BCC and CJH pays the city because “even if they are paying taxes as resort hotels, their operation as golf courses were not indicated.”
He said the local government noticed a discrepancy in both resort-hotels’ tax payments.
BCC has had a golf course in 1905.
Both BCC and CJH has been hosting the longest running amateur golf tourney in the world — the annual Fil-Am golf tournament.
The vice mayor said that if even sari-sari stores need to secure permits from the local government, "companies operating golf courses that generate substantial income for their incorporators and owners should also be compelled to secure permits to operate the said business endeavor considering that they are collecting fees from those who play golf in their courses."