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Boracay Entry Fee.

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boracay
posts: 9,282
reviews: 12
Boracay Entry Fee.

Many people have asked/complained about this - here's what the Panay News (dated Wednesday, January 11) has to say about it...

"The Professional Advocates and Innovators for Development Incorporated (ProAID) and De La Salle Institute of Governance recently assialed the collection of P50 as environmental and admission fee to tourists and guests going to Boracay Island.

The mandatory collection is provided for in Ordinance No. 230, series of 2005 of Malay otherwise known as "An Ordinance Charging Environmental and Admission Fee to All Boracay Bound Guests and Tourists" approved by the Sangguniang Bayan chaired by Vice Mayor Froilibar S. Bautista.

Mayor Ceciron Cawaling ordered the collection starting Wednesday."

boracay
posts: 9,282
reviews: 12
21. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

$5 per guest per night? Say goodbye to all the backpackers then!

Boracay, Philippines
posts: 944
22. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

YES. this is senate bill 2138 presently on 2nd and final reading at the Senate.

They may lower it but still there will be another fee to pay for the marketing of Dept of Tourism!

They ll never learn!

Boracay Island...
posts: 1,113
reviews: 1
23. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

See it at www.senate.gov.ph/bills/sbn-2138.pdf

The whole thing is 33 pages long. I will quote just Section 51(g):

---begin

SEC. 51. Tourism Promotlon and Development Fund. - The proceeds of the followlng shall be placed In a speclal Tourism Promotion and Development Fund to finance the activities of Tourlsm Philippines:

[...]

g. A minimal tourism fee which shall initiaily not exceed five US dollars (USD 5) to be collected from foreign guests per night spent in accommodation establishments, to I be collected by said establishments and remitted to Tourism Philippines. The amount shall be initially fixed and maybe revisid from time to time by the Board. In determining and reviewing the fee, the Board shall consider the level of accreditation of the establishment, its location and its market.

---end

Hmmmm.... "to be collected from foreign guests". One wonders what happened to "nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws" from Article III Section 1 of the current RP Constitution. Foreigners aren't regarded as "persons", it seems.

According to http://www.senate.gov.ph/bills/BillsList.pdf, as of 13 Feb, this bill was "Certified for immediate enactment, by the President of

the Philippines, Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on December 19, 2005"

Philippines
posts: 36
reviews: 1
24. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

Bill,

I understand that foreigners will always feel burdened with new impositions on tourist. But the argument of equal protection however can not be used. The equal protection principle requires equal treatment of those persons who are equally situated.

Foreigners who come in any country, are always guests in that country that granted them privelege to stay. They are not to be lumped with the local population who are citizens. Though they are all human beings whose rights are inviolate, foreigners are not in the same specie as the local citizens. A foreigner can not vote, or own real estate and what not.

In the same way citizens from developing countries can not really argue against, say the US government, if the governemnt deprived them visa to enter the US.

Once you are allowed to stay in a country, you must however observe local laws. The same fate is being suffered by all peoples visiting other countries. Though in some countries, colored people from developing or under developed countries are made to suffer far more demeaning discrimination.

Philippines
posts: 36
reviews: 1
25. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

Pikiwi,

Im sorry to hear your experience. Your story actually highlights the difficulty of the water system. Its necessary but economically difficult to implememt.

But Boracay resorts and residents can not keep on sucking water from the ground. Aside from undermining the subsoil of the island, it is health risk too.

I can guess that the reason why BWSS cant reach Bulabog is that they dont have the money to lay out more pipes.

The price of water is really high in Boracay. Its even higher than what Metro Manila charges. That again highlights what bitter pill Boracay residents need to live by.

boracay
posts: 9,282
reviews: 12
26. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

I can see this fee putting a lot of the smaller budget resorts and cottages out of business. How exactly is it supposed to work? A rich guy from Manila staying in a fancy hotel won't be charged, but a budget backpacker will? This is clearly racial discrimination. Where I come from it is illegal to charge foreigners a higher price than locals.

Boracay Island...
posts: 1,113
reviews: 1
27. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

Responding to Deckard's posting timestamped 10:26 pm "yesterday". I am not sure whether "yesterday" is 9 or 10 March due to uncertainty about the timezone of the timestamp.

Deckard said:

---

... The equal protection principle requires equal treatment of those persons who are equally situated.

---

FWICT, in RP case law the key case on this question is Inchong v. Hernandez. I have not, however, been able to find an online copy of the decision in that case.

That case was cited, however, in RPSC decision G.R. No. 127410, with the following comment in the court's decision (note, I have interleaved some of my own remarks here -- set off in square brackets:

---

The fundamental right of equal protection of the laws is not absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification. If the groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences, one class may be treated and regulated differently from another. The classification must also be germane to the purpose of the law and must apply to all those belonging to the same class.

[ 1. Are the class grouping distinctions characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences?

2. Are the classifications germaine to the purpose of the law? ]

[ getting back to the quote from the decision ... ]

... Explaining the nature of the equal protection guarantee, the Court in Ichong v. Hernandez said:

The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not intended to prohibit legislation which is limited either [by] the object to which it is directed or by [the] territory within which it is to operate. It does not demand absolute equality among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable. grounds exist for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not.

[ Note what this said: "The equal protection of the law clause ... merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced." ]

[ Also, it says that a requirement is that " ... reasonable. grounds exist (NOTE - 'must exist' is implied by the wording which I have not requoted fully) for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not. ]

[ continuing with the quote from the decision ... ]

Classification, to be valid, must (1) rest on substantial distinctions, (2) be germane to the purpose of the law, (3) not be limited to existing conditions only, and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class.

[ So,

1. Is the distinction that one person seeking to rent a hotel room is a foreigner and that another person seeking to rent the same room is not a foreigner a "substantial distinction"? I think not.

2. Is the classification germaine to the purpose of the law? Well, SB-2138 does not clearly state what its purpose is, so we must infer that. Sec. 3 of SB-2138 is a Declaration of Principles which does not distinguish between foreign and domestic tourists until 3(e), in which it is clear that the bill is concerned with tourism by Filipinos as well as with tourism by foreigners.

3 & 4. (I think not a concern here)

it appears to me that points 1 & 2 above argue strongly against the idea that this bill does not violate the equal protection guarantee in the RP Constitution. ]

<remaindier of G.R. No. 127410 not quoted>

---

Deckard also said:

---

Foreigners who come in any country, are always guests in that country that granted them privelege to stay. They are not to be lumped with the local population who are citizens. Though they are all human beings whose rights are inviolate, foreigners are not in the same specie as the local citizens. A foreigner can not vote, or own real estate and what not.

---

I disagree. Foreign persons are arguably equally protected by the equal protection clause in the RP constitution as Filipino persons. Requoting that: "... nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws." The classification of foreign persons as foreigners is not in itself sufficient justification for institutional discrimination on that basis under RP law -- the RP Constitution prohibits such institutional discrimination.

Regarding foreigners not being allowed to vote or or to own land, (or to hold certain offices, etc.) -- those discriminatory distinctions are made in the RP Constitution itself and are therefore not covered by the equal protection clause. The equal protection clause, however, essentially prohibits legislators from passing ordinary laws which discriminate against foreign persons vs. Filipino persons.

Or so I understand it.

Not being a lawyer, much less a Filipino lawyer (a profession which an ordinary law -- not a Constitutional restriction -- bars me as a foreigner from entering here), I may misunderstand the legalities.

Boracay Island...
posts: 1,113
reviews: 1
28. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

Commenting on Deckard's response timestamped 10:33 pm, "yesterday" to a post by Pikiwi

(Deckard, I'm not trying to pick on you -- it's just that you have been raising issues which I think deserve comment)

Deckard said:

---

But Boracay resorts and residents can not keep on sucking water from the ground. Aside from undermining the subsoil of the island, it is health risk too.

---

As I mentioned in a previous post, all wells on Boracay of which I am aware are low-lift shallow wells; not deep wells. Drawing watter from such wells does not undermine subsoil.

Also,

---

I can guess that the reason why BWSS cant reach Bulabog is that they dont have the money to lay out more pipes.

---

Deckard is probably not aware that Pikiwi's property is directly adjacent to the BWSS main plant, which is located in Bulabog.

Philippines
posts: 36
reviews: 1
29. Re: Boracay Entry Fee.

More than enough has been said. Thank you guys for the wonderful exchange.

Am due to be in Boracay in May. We can share a bottle or two.