Randy Bugarin shared his thoughts about Tambobo Bay in Siaton. Here are his thoughts"
In the June 7 issue of the Chronicle you cited a law giving local governments the right to levy fees on use of natural resources and the public domain i.e. Tambobo Bay. Problem is these fees would apply to all and sundry, not just foreigners. Otherwise the imposition would be discriminatory. What would local fishermen say about a fee for using the bay? What about Filipinos not from Siaton? Also, collection would be a dicey thing unless a gate and lock a la Panama Canal would be installed at the mouth of the bay.
In the same issue a photo caption on Tambobo as fishing center says, all sectors consulted about a docking/loading facility posed constructive objections.. We can guess the root of these objections would be the expected fees payable by fishing vessels, and the burden of maintaining the facility if fees collected could not support it.
If local fisherfolk do not want to pay for docking facilities, why would they pay a fee for just hanging around the bay? A better idea would be a marina (charging fees, of course) which foreigners and locals alike could use. If that would be too much at this time, locals could be encouraged to invest in onshore cafes, laundries, massage and other services seafarers would need.
Making money from thin air is seldom enforceable. Are there places in the world that charge local and foreign boats just for anchoring in bays and inlets with no docks? Tambobo is of public domain in Philippine territory, which is why the foreigners said they had already paid immigration dept. fees which are essentially toll for entering a political territory. The local government at the Balinsasayao lakes charges entrance fees, but physical improvements and services have been added and entrance and exit are easily controlled.
Postcript by JID:
I guess what I am saying is that from point of law, local governments are empowered to impose/levy fees. From point of public policy though, I don't know. It is up to the people of Siaton, through their duly elected representatives in the municipal council, to determine the policy. To determine the soundness of imposing fees in Tambobo is a public policy question, rather than a legal question. Perhaps this is an issue that should pre-occupy the municipal councilors of Siaton.
Here in Dumaguete, since we do not have something like Tambobo, the city council spend their time talking about buying brand new cellphones, buying T-shirts, and killing the proposal of their rival councilors.
And then they claim they are the best candidates for the upcoming elections.
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