Rough cuts | Councilor Alejandre’s proposed measure

PEOPLE should congratulate Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum for his humility in apologizing to the people of Davao City for the inappropriate acts of two rookie policemen under his command. The two freshmen cops wacked the soles of three suspects in a riot of youngsters after the latter were apprehended and taken to the barangay hall of Brgy. 19-B. Their “abusive” acts were caught on CCTV which was later leaked to the media eventually exposing what could have been intended as a guarded secret of the two policemen and possibly some barangay executives.

Director Tagum assured the public that he would not allow such abuse by policemen on any one, even if he or she is a suspect in a crime. And to prove that he means business he has already caused the filing of criminal charges against PO1s Joebani Natividad and Jesre Masinading, both members of the DCPO Mobile Patrol Group. They will also be facing administrative charges.

It is this quick action by a police superior to complaints of shenanigans by any of his subordinates that the ordinary citizen would appreciate, especially because the members of the police organization are expected to protect them from harm instead of inflicting it on them.

We would not be surprised if Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio would also express her gratitude for having Director Tagum as her partner in making the city more livable these days.

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This time it’s second district councilor Al Ryan Alejandre who is hitting the nail right on the head.

And we mean his proposal to regulate homestay accommodation listed in the home-sharing booking applications such as Airbnb, VRBO, Tripping.com, Homeaway and other related booking sites using the Internet convenience.

Alejandre, chair of the City Council Committee on Tourism and Beautification, in proposing for the regulation of this home-stay scheme, said it is already a huge business in Davao City cashing in on the influx of tourists in this Southern Mindanao hub.

Thus, it is about time that the operation of Home-stay accommodation should now be regulated and must be given responsibility and accountability because they are catering to people whose trust in the city and its leaders would be affected if something untoward happens to them while staying in private houses for a fee

We agree more than 100 percent with the proposed measure of Councilor Alejandre. There has to have regulations to be observed by those home owners who accommodate visitors from other places who cannot afford the rates of hotels and inns or just would want to stay in houses because they feel safer with household members serving as their hosts.

For now we cannot find any ordinance or whatever that will serve as guidelines for those who offer their houses to tourists and collect payment from them even without any receipt at all. This scheme actually is not just depriving Davao City of a substantial income from business permit fees and perhaps sales tax, but the national government as well.

Imagine conveniently docking payment of local taxes to the city and national taxes to the central government because such business by a good number of people in Davao City is not among those listed in the government’s roll of businesses!

If Councilor Alejandre succeeds in this proposition of his then we can start computing the add-on revenue that will go into the city’s coffer annually.

Of course his endeavor could not be a simple “walk in the park.” And he will realize this when he starts calling stakeholders to the home-stay business for a series of public hearing. We can be certain that the stakeholders would be quick to defend their home-stay program. They will surely say that they are being called upon by the government through the Department of Tourism to help Davao City become a major tourist destination. After all, they know that the rates they offer to Davao visitors are very affordable coupled with very secure environment in the confines of Davaoeno homes where they surely would be treated as members of the family.

Thus, if Alejandre would not be able to offer a compromise acceptable to the home-stay operators then they’d most likely threaten to withdraw their support to the city tourism program.

We hope the second district councilor would be completely prepared to handle this possible stumbling block to his well-thought of proposed measure.

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Today is February 14, Valentine’s Day. We wish all our readers a Happy Valentine celebration with your loved ones!

Posted in Opinion