The city government of Baguio started implementing the collection of entrance fees for Botanical garden and Diplomat Heritage Park as mandated by City Ordinance No. 18 series of 2016 or the City Environmental Code.
The city government through the City Environment and Parks Management Office on 3 February 2020 started the collection of P10 for adults and P5 for children as entrance fee rate on the two city-owned parks.
This was based on Section 31 of the City Environmental Code which also mandates the collection of rental rates for the use of the two halls for meetings, seminars, conferences and other functions for nongovernment and private organizations.
For the Diplomat Heritage Park, the per hour rate for the first floor is pegged at P500 or P4,000 per day (8 hours) plus P100 for every hour of electricity used while the rate for the second floor area is P700 per hour or P5,600 per day (8 hours) plus P100 for every hour of electricity used. A refundable bond of P5,000 is also required to be deposited at the City Treasury Office.
The bond be refunded only after the amount representing damages incurred had been deducted against it. However, if the damage cost exceeds the bond, the event organizer shall be charged based on prevailing estimates of plants, grass covers, fences and or replaceable facilities like lamps or lamp posts.
Use of the Diplomat Heritage Park grounds for photo shoots, concerts and any other legal and moral functions is pegged at P1,000 for 5 hours of actual use or P2,000 per day (8 hours) plus P100 for every hour of set-up time.
The City Environmental Code provides that the use of the Diplomat Heritage Park will only be allowed after the necessary fees are paid to the City Treasury Office and the permit to use is issued.
Under Section 33 of the city ordinance, all park fees will have a 10 percent increase every three years.
The city hopes to cash in from the entrance fee for better maintenance and improvement of the city parks./Jess Mardy Samidan