Issue of July 25, 2021
     
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Fees to be collected on use of Baguio Convention Center
by Jane B. Cadalig

There will no longer be free use of the Baguio Convention Center even for government-initiated events.

The charging of fees for the use of the facility is contained in a proposed ordinance that sought to rename the BCC to Baguio Convention and Cultural Center and establish the operations manual for its use.

One of the provisions of the proposed ordinance provides for the rates and charges to be imposed on the use of BCC. Government agencies, including the city government, are not exempt from paying rent and other fees.

At present, BCC’s use is free for government-initiated activities. Private groups also request the city council to waive the rent or partner with the city government to be exempt from paying fees for the use of the facility.

City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo presented to the city council on July 19 the proposed ordinance, which sought to amend Ordinance 95 s. 1995 that currently provides the rates for the use of BCC.

Under the proposed measure, the rent for the full hall is P80,000 for 10 hours and P45,000 for a five-hour use while rent for the ground hall is P60,000 for 10 hours and P35,000 for five hours. The extension fee for both halls is P5,000 per hour.

The rent for the executive lounge that can accommodate 25 people and the executive boardroom that can accommodate 30 people is P6,000 for 10 hours and P3,500 for five hours.

For the lobby receiving room, the rent is P5,000 for 10 hours and P3,000 for five hours with an extension fee of P400 per hour.

The basement function room will be rented at P6,000 for 10 hours and P3,500 for five hours with an extension fee of P500 per hour.

The rent for half of the basement is P12,000 for 10 hours and P7,000 for five hours with an extension fee of P1,000 per hour.

Once the whole basement is available, the rent will be P40,000 for 10 hours and P22,000 for five hours with an extension fee of P5,000 per hour.

At present, half of the BCC basement is being used as the city’s command center.

Separate charges also apply on the use of other BCC amenities such as multimedia projectors, LED video walls, and air conditioning units.

Mapalo said the city government will enjoy 50 percent discount on all fees for official events held at the BCC and 15 percent discount for city activities that are commercial in nature.

Government agencies, local government units, and non-government organizations will also enjoy 15 percent discount on venue fee for fund-raising events supporting beneficiaries, social advocacy forums, or religious activities that do not collect entrance or registration fees to participants.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda suggested for the City Treasurer’s Office to make it clear in the ordinance that event organizers who partner with the city government will still have to pay the fees according to the nature of their activities.

Mapalo said there is a need to collect fees from the use of the BCC even by the city government as what is being done in other areas like Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

“In Vigan, everyone using their convention center is paying, even if it is the mayor. The fees collected at the Vigan Convention Center are higher than what we have proposed,” he said.

Using the proposed fees, Mapalo said the city government could have collected P6.3 million from 147 events that were held free of charge at the BCC since January this year.

The two paid events this year so far have generated for the city P85,000.

Mapalo said as of May, the expenses for BCC reached P1.5M. 

He said the city can earn a net of P2M a year from BCC with the imposition of the fees provided under proposed ordinance 76 s. 2020.


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