BAGUIO Mayor Benjamin Magalong is lauding the proposed ordinance that would implement a “congestion fee” for tourists bringing their vehicles to Baguio, but is looking to have it increased, calling the proposed amount too small.
According to Magalong, the ordinance needs to be retuned to be in line with the city’s ongoing smart mobility and transportation master plan, which is still under development.
“The proposal is good. However, it should be taken in context of the overall master plan,” Magalong said of the proposal.
Magalong said that the congestion fee will be one aspect of the master plan, which will be subject to public hearings.
“Actually, P50 is low. We should increase it. We need to generate revenue with reasonable charges, because we have stagnated in terms of revenue. The prices of goods and the cost of services have increased, but our budget is still the same,” Magalong said.
The proposal for the fee, passed on first reading, would see tourists with cars charged P50 upon entry to Baguio City. The collection of congestion fee shall apply to all visiting vehicle owners or drivers. The funds would then be used for programs to alleviate the traffic situation in the city.
Under the ordinance, residents of Baguio City will be exempt from the P50 charge as well as the neighboring La Trinidad – Itogon – Sablan – Tuba – Tublay (LISTT) areas.
According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), there are currently over 58,600 motor vehicles registered in Baguio City, with another 44,000 registered in nearby La Trinidad, Benguet.