MEMBERS of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) are seeking a tax relief program from the local government.
Specifically, HRRAC president Alfred Reyes said the organization wants the local government, starting off with Cebu City, to waive its penalties to
support the ailing hotel sector.
“As we all know, 2020 was not really a good year for hotels. In fact, there are some hotels that have applied for bankruptcy; some have closed.
One of the programs we will asking, starting from Cebu City, is a tax reform program wherein it allows you not to pay, not that we are asking it to be free, but to waive the penalties so that hotels can reopen again,” said Reyes during the 2021 Cebu Business Month’s virtual Tourism Coffee Table Discussion on Thursday, June 3, 2021.
Reyes noted that there are already hotel players that haven’t paid their taxes.
“Or if not, instead of closing, we are requesting the city to park the business as of the moment because once they will reopen the business, they will be paying more taxes,” said Reyes.
Such measure, according to Reyes, would help businesses stay afloat and encourage those that have stopped operations to reopen.
“This is one way of helping them to make sure that their businesses are still alive,” he said.
The HRRAC official said they will reach out to Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella first, then to the city mayors of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
In August 2020, the Cebu City Council approved a tax amnesty program for delinquent business and real property owners in Cebu City.
In availing of the amnesty, taxpayers have two options: pay the principal amount of their tax dues in full before Dec. 15, 2020 without penalties, or pay in staggered amounts within one year and pay only 10 percent of total penalties.
Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia introduced the ordinance in 2019, but it was deferred a number of times. He reintroduced the measure in July
2020 to help taxpayers get through the Covid-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, 26 members of HRRAC have signified interest to offer incentives to vaccinated individuals.
Reyes said HRRAC members have agreed to offer a 20 percent discount to vaccinated customers to support the vaccination rollout in Cebu.
“We are now in the process of acquiring permits from the Department of Trade and Industry. We hope everybody will get interested in getting vaccinated so that we can fully open our economy,” he said.
Reyes said the group will formally submit a planned initiative to the Department of Tourism for endorsement. (KOC)