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Benguet politiko pushes P25 ‘environmental fee’ for tourists

La Trinidad, Benguet Councilor John Botiwey is close to having his proposal to charge a P25 environmental fee to visiting tourists approved by the municipal council.

The town council has approved Botiwey’s proposed ordinance in first reading, setting the stage for a public hearing to be scheduled within the month.

In filing his proposal, the councilor said La Trinidad should “cash in” on the growing number of tourists visiting the province.

Botiwey, who heads the town council’s committee on tourism and special events, said the P25 environmental fee will fund such projects as tourism information centers and the public rest rooms.

At present, he said only Barangay Tawang collects such fee from visitors.

In 2013, Botiwey pointed out there were 700,554 tourist arrivals in Benguet. The Tuba town had the most number of tourists at 225,909.

La Trinidad, which is famous for its strawberry fields, had 104,472 tourist arrivals in the same year, Botiwey added.