Thursday, October 13, 2011

Camiguin Lanzones Festival 2011 On

By: Anthony Pelaez

CAMIGUIN, Mambajao, Oct. 14 (PIA) – An Immigration Booth will be put up by the Bureau of Immigration (BI), here, this coming Oct. 20-21, for foreign tourists who will be visiting Camiguin Island, during the Lanzones Festival, set from Oct. 16-23, this year.

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said a team of BI officials will travel to Camiguin and man the booth, which is part of the one-stop-shop organized by the Camiguin Provincial Government.

Aside from providing visa extension services, the Immigration Booth will also entertain queries and disseminate information about the various services provided by BI to foreigners visiting the country, David said.

“We hope that through this One-Stop-Shop, foreigners who will join the festival will be encouraged to frequently visit, not only Camiguin, but also explore other tourist spots in the Philippines,” the Immigration Commissioner said.

He added that BI will study the feasibility of putting similar one–stop-shops in other places of the country that holds annual festivities and attract large numbers of foreign tourists.

Meanwhile, BI Boarding Section Chief Theodore Pascual said personnel from the bureau’s computer section in Manila and the BI-Cagayan de Oro (CDO) Field Office, including a payment assessor and cashier, will man the booth.

Other agencies, such as, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Statistic Office (NSO), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) will also participate in the one-stop shop activity.

Pascual was invited to speak at the public forum to discuss the latest policies and regulations implemented by the BI as Chief Regulator of the entry and stay of foreigners in the Philippines.

Aside from boosting local tourism, the activity also aims to generate employment opportunities for Camiguin residents, according to a primer released by island’s Provincial Capitol, Pascual added. (BI/PIA-10)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Public Hearing on Proposed New Revenue Code in Camiguin Town Held

By Homer R. Jajalla

Camiguin News Update - The Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Committee on Ways and Means (CWM) is fast tracking the passage of the proposed Municipal Revenue Code, here, in a bid to update the existing tax code which was last passed in 1992.

Thus, a public hearing, attended by more than 200 participants representing various sectors, was held at the municipal gymnasium to gather public inputs on the proposed revenue measure which is needed to spur local growth.

Kagawad Jonard B. Labadan, Chairperson, SB WMCommittee, stressed the need to pass a new revenue measure because it has already been almost 20 years already that the municipality is operating with the old code.

“In 1992, we were the first municipality in Camiguin that was able to come up with a model revenue code, and now we are left behind because we are the only municipality in the province to have been unable to update it,” Labadan told participants at the hearing.

He added “Mahinognons” are still fortunate because for almost 20 years fees and charges in Mahinog have remained unchanged and are even considered minimal compared to other local government units (LGU) in the province.

At the public hearing, municipal treasurer Judith P. Baita presented the salient provisions of the town’s proposed Revenue Code.

Baita said the proposed revision includes ten percent (10%) increase of the rates in the existing 1992 revenue code as allowed by Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as The Local Government Code of 1991.

Under the code, LGU’s are authorized to adjust their tax rates once every five (5) years but such adjustment should not exceed ten percent (10%) of the rates fixed under the code.

Baita stressed it has been three (3) times, or more than 15 years, that the LGU chose not to take the opportunity to adjust its tax rates.

“It is high time now ‘to awake from the long sleep’ and pass a new revenue code in order to keep pace with the changing times,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Perla J. Garot, a participant from the business sector, said tax amendments are appropriate as long as the money is spent properly and it is also important that during the public hearings taxpayers should be made to understand how tax money is used.

Mayor Alex R. Jajalla said the new revenue measures is needed to finance more developmental projects.

He also assured that every centavo of the money collected from local taxes will be judiciously used for the purpose it is collected.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mahinog, Camiguin LGU Council Approves New Raffle Ordinance

By: Homer R. Jajalla

Camiguin News Online – The Sangguniang Bayan (SB), here, recently approved an ordinance that would regulate the operation of “raffles” in the municipality.

Under the ordinance authored by SB Kagawad Rey Lawrence K. Tan, a raffle may be conducted only by a charitable and public welfare organization.

Thus, the ordinance would now restrict private individuals from holding a raffle in the municipality.

Tan said the ordinance resulted after a bungled raffle in the municipality,which was conducted by a private person, victimized a number of people who purchased raffle tickets, but had no winners.

“A raffle regulation was needed to safeguard the people against the scam,” Tan stressed.

Meanwhile, Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 gives the city and municipal mayors authority to regulate the holding of activities for charitable and welfare purposes within their respective jurisdiction.

Such activities may be in the form of benefit shows or dances, bingo socials for charity, raffle draws and similar activities.

The new ordinance makes it unlawful to conduct or operate a raffle in the municipality unless said raffle has been covered by a permit issued by the Municipal Mayor.

The ordinance further provides that raffle permits shall be issued only to organizations that operate without profit to their members.

The ordinance imposes a fine from a minimum of Php500 to a maximum of Php1,500 or imprisonment of not more than 20 days or both. (MIO/PIA-10)