A BAGUIO city councilor is proposing a measure that would see a “Baguio first” or prioritization of Baguio locals over non-Baguio tourism service providers in the city.
Councilor Lilia Fariñas’s proposal would see outsiders who are not accredited by the City Tourism Office (CTO) restricted from providing tourism services in the city.
The proposed ordinance was crafted in response to the appeal of the local Baguio Tourism Services sector composed of accredited tour guides, tour operators, and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) suppliers.
Fariñas claims that tourism service providers outside the city with their own tour guides rob locals of economic opportunities.
“It is the duty of the city government to sympathize with our hapless constituents who experience biased predicaments such as what our local Baguio tourism service providers experience; thus, a need to put the odds a little more to their favor through this ordinance,” Farinas stated.
According to the proposed ordinance, outsiders may still be allowed to operate in the city provided that they pay 20 percent of their total gross contract price to the CTO.
The proposal also would create a tourism services task force to oversee operations in the city.
The proposal has been approved on first reading by the Baguio City Council and is undergoing review by the Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks, and Playgrounds.