COA: No basis for Cebu town’s canyoneering fees
There was no basis for the municipality of Alegria, Cebu, to collect entrance and user’s fees from tourists who come to experience canyoneering activities, the Commission on Audit (COA) said.
In its 2017 annual audit report, the COA questioned the municipality’s imposition of P13.26 million in fees in 2017 despite the lack of an ordinance enacted by the Sangguniang Bayan.
Auditors said officials were only able to present Barangay Ordinances Number 3, series of 2015, and Number 5, series of 2016, as legal basis for the collection of funds for the use of Kanlaob River.
The said ordinances passed by the council of Barangay Compostela set the rates for tour packages and sharing schemes of net proceeds.
However, the COA said the municipal administrator failed to show that the SB adopted the ordinance approved by the barangay.
Section 132 of the Local Government Code provided for the power to impose local taxes to be exercised by the SB through an appropriate ordinance.
Aside from the questionable collection of fees, the COA also noted that P294.241.23 of the proceeds were received by the Compostela Farmers’ Association (COMFA) from April 2017 to January 2018 without basis.
The 2015 barangay ordinance earmarked 8% of the proceeds to people’s organizations, but COMFA was supposedly the one such group in the area.