Home-sharing operator vows to work with city

AMERICAN company Airbnb is not blocking any communication with the city government, the company’s officer said.

“We are ready to work with the CTOO (City Tourism and Operations Office) to address any challenges it may have,” Jake Wilczynski, public affairs officer of AirBnb in Asia Pacific, told TIMES.

Wilczynski said they are willing to help the city government in crafting the ordinance on the regulation and taxation of home-sharing applications in the city.

Last week, Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre revealed that they were having problems in contacting Airbnb, one of the companies included in his proposal to regulate home-sharing applications. He said the company apparently “blocked” all communication from the city government.

Wilczynski sent an e-mail to TIMES to clarify the report as he said they are looking deeper into the incident if such happened.

He said they never have any problem in working with local governments.

“Airbnb has put in place partnerships with more than 400 governments around the world,” he said.

Based on the regulations of Airbnb, VAT may be charged depending on the laws of the jurisdiction involved establishments.

Airbnb can be accessed via either its websites or mobile apps for iOS, Apple Watch, and Android. Registration and account creation is free.

CTOO chief Generose Tecson, in an interview by TIMES, said “there’s no way to contact AirBnB, we tried through their main (office) in the States. But in our end, we tried contacting Airbnb establishments here in Davao through their site, that’s when they blocked us eventually.”

Tecson added that they sent their letter through an e-mail to the Airbnb’s head office some time in December or January.

With Wilczynski’s statement, regulation proponent Alejandre is pushing for his project.

“That’s a good development that they will cooperate with us for legislative regulatory for home-sharing applications here in Davao,” Alejandre told TIMES.

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