Amendment to CDO’s tourism law pushed

By Aida Raut

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, July 15 (PNA) — The city’s local tourism board is pushing for the amendment of some provisions of the city’s ordinance on tourism establishments here.

City Councilor Candy Darimbang, chair of the City Council Committee on Tourism, said on Tuesday that the amendment intends to reclassify the status of various hotels, pension houses, apartments, and resorts here.

She said that the proposed amendment is intended for purposes of registration and licensing and the introduction of new tourism laws.

The city’s Ordinance No. 5239-96, known as the Cagayan De Oro City Tourism Establishments Regulatory Ordinance of 1996, where some provisions have to be amended in order to cope with the demands of the time.

For instance, Darimbang said, the deluxe hotels should be classified into 5- Star Hotel, first class hotels to be classified as 4-star hotel, standard hotels to 3-star hotel, economy class hotels to 2-star hotel and budget hotels.

In a meeting with stakeholders last week, Josephine Roque, of the Department of Tourism (DOT), here furnished the committee with a copy of the assessment booklet, which shall be provided to all existing accommodation enterprises.

Roque said that the material will update and appraise the owners of the hotels, resorts and apartment hotels of the new set of criteria and standard that will be used in the assessment of the establishment’s star rating classification.

However, tourist inns, pension houses and motels will still use the old classification system, the tourism committee said.

The DOT said that the classification of hotels is represented with the “star point system” where the criteria is divided into seven dimensions to include the arrival and departure areas; public area; bedrooms; bathrooms; food and beverage, amenities and services and business practices.

Catalino Chan, the DOT regional director in Northern Mindanao, said that the DOT would dispatch a team of auditors to evaluate tourism- related establishments in the city in order to ensure compliance of the new guidelines in the renewal of the accreditations.

Chan suggested that the new guidelines should be included in the amendment of the local tourism code, especially the provision of, at least, two rooms for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) as well as the strict compliance of the installation of sprinklers, fire exits and elevators, that accommodate two wheelchairs.

Darimbang also want the tourism code to compel hotels to have medicines to provide the medical needs of hotel guests, train personnel in basic lifesaving techniques, and hire “on call” medical personnel such as nurse and physicians to attend to the medical needs of hotel guests. (PNA)