THE Baguio City Council, in its review of the proposed ordinance hiking the entrance fees to the Baguio Botanical Garden, has reduced the increase after deliberations.
Initially, the proposed ordinance would see the entrance fee renamed to an “environment fee” and hiked from P10 pesos for adults to a whopping P150 per adult tourist, with lower prices for residents and a 20 percent discount for students and senior citizens.
Under the revised ordinance, the fees have been cut down to P100 for tourists of 13 years of age or higher, P25 for tourists below 13 years of age, P50 for adult Baguio residents, P25 for Baguio residents of at least 13 years of age, and free for Baguio residents below 13 years of age.
The 20 percent discount for senior citizens and students with appropriate identification is set to remain in place.
Currently, the entrance fee for adults is P10.00 while the entrance fee for children is P5.00 as per Section 31-C of the Environment Code of Baguio City (Ordinance 18-2016). The proposed ordinance, once enacted, would amend this provision of the Environment Code.
Discussions of the city council concluded that the proposed P150 fee is “too much”, settling on a temporary P100 provision while also urging the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) to conduct appropriate feasibility studies to determine the appropriate fee to charge.
According to CEPMO Chief Rhenan Diwas, the cost of operating the garden has ballooned to some P38 million as of October 2022, which needs higher fees to sustain it.
Diwas also mentioned that the current Christmas-themed attraction at the garden is part of a year-round plan to have attractions at the garden to justify the increased price of admission.