Bohol First District Rep. and House Committee on Tourism Senior Vice Chair Edgar M. Chatto has expressed his support for the 40 percent share of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) from the tourism travel tax during a committee meeting on Wednesday.
The meeting deliberated on bills proposing Carrying Capacity Regulations of destinations and Travel Tax exemption for Senior Citizens and PWDs.
Chatto, who authored the Tourism Act of 2009, explained that the law provides that Travel Tax Collection is allocated 50% to the Tourism Infrastructure and Economic Zone Authority (TIEZA), 40% for CHED and 10% to the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA).
“CHED has to have the 40% share of the tourism travel tax to ensure that its operations are not disturbed,” he stated, emphasizing that the CHED budget is highly dependent on the Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF) that goes directly to the State Colleges and Universities (SUCs).
Chatto further recommended for the committee to convene the Department of Tourism (DOT), CHED, NCCA and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to address concerns on the limitations set by DBM on the use of the funds with CHED.
He stated that these are not provided in the Tourism Law and not envisioned in the interpretation of the law.
“If CHED can maximize its use of the funds, there will be big ticket projects for higher education specifically related programs and courses to tourism as a capacity development avenue for tourism workers, front liners to be trained by our SUCs,” he added.
Chatto disclosed that at the time the law was being passed, the Lower House pushed for travel tax collection to be distributed to DOT, CHED and NCCA to address fund allocation gaps.
He said that this would help boost the tourism industry and promote the culture and arts of the country.