ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – Opposition Councilor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr., vowed to remove the P20 tourism promotion and development fee being charged from every occupant or patron of hotels and motels here once elected as City Mayor.
Lazatin declared this during the Mayoralty Forum sponsored by the Hotel and Restaurants Association in Pampanga, Inc. (HARP) last November 21 at Oasis Hotel.
He was applauded by HARP members when he said that he will ask the City Council to immediately repeal Section 4.GG.02 of the Tax Ordinance No. 61, Series of 2011 or Ordinance Codifying the Tax and other revenue-raising Ordinances of Angeles City, charging P20 tourism promotion and development fee.
Lazatin explained that he questioned the usage of the fund the first time he saw that part of the Ordinance. At one time, he recalled it was even planned to be used to New York City by the city official, which he opposed.
“I wanted to know how they will use the fund. If it will be returned back to the organization that pays for it, then I do not have any more issues. But we will not use it so that somebody can go abroad na may kasama pang boy. I was just so pissed during that time, that’s how they wanted to use the fund,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin said he will also remove all additional and unnecessary fees and taxes being charged to unburden local businessmen.
Lazatin also said that he will implement government and private partnership in promoting tourism events for the city.
In the same forum, Lazatin also announced that once elected, his first order of business in office will be to clean out the “rotten eggs” in the city government, especially those who use their position to extort businesses in the city.
“Ang magiging administration po natin ay may paninindigan,” Lazatin stressed, “Ang ibig pong sabihin nito, we will clean out the corrupt employees in the city government, regardless of their affiliation.”
Further, Lazatin said that the application for business permits in the city will be effectively modernized under his administration.
“The present Business-One-Stop-Shop was first implemented during the administration of my father,” Lazatin said, referring to former three-term Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin.
“Under our administration, we plan to improve this further by properly implementing the city’s online business application system, starting with proper information dissemination. We are in the age of information technology and we need to take advantage and use it to improve the delivery of public services.”
At present, the Angeles City Government has an online business application system in place called E-BOSS or Electronic Business One-Stop Shop, however, the service has yet to be widely used by businesses in the city. According to the Business Permit and Licensing Division, in 2017, only 16 businesses applied for their permits through the E-BOSS system.