The city’s legislative body approved an ordinance that updated the fees being charged by the city from couples intending to marry in the Summer Capital, those intending to cut trees and those that transport lumber to their desired places.
Ordinance No. 73, series of 2023 amended Sections 239, 251 and 255 of Ordinance No. 18, series of 2016 otherwise known as the city’s Environment Code.
Under the approved amendatory ordinance that will take effect on September 21, 2023, couples intending to marry in the city shall be prevailed upon to plant at least one tree at a place designated by the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) where the latter shall supervise the planting of trees and shall certify thereafter to the Office of the Local Civil Registrar that the said provision had been complied with, with such certification shall be a prerequisite before a marriage license shall be issued.
Further, a certification fee amounting to P100 shall be collected by the city government for the said purpose.
The issuance of a marriage license in violation of the aforesaid provision shall be a ground for dismissal of government employees involved.
On the other hand, upon approval of the permit to cut, retrieve, or remove tree, the permittee is required to pay a permit fee of P700 per cubic meter, or fraction thereof based on the tree to be cut, retrieved or removed. Payment shall be made at the City Treasury Office.
Moreover, national and local government agencies are exempted from the said fees under the revised provision.
The mandatory ordinance stipulated that logs, lumber, timber and firewood to be transported must be covered with a transport permit with supporting documents such as certificate of timber of origin and tree cutting permit.
Permit to transport must be signed and issued by the Office of the City Mayor upon recommendation of the forest officers of the forest and watershed division of the City Environment and Parks Management office.
The ordinance added that the permit to transport shall be charged with a fee of P300 for every cubic meter or a fraction thereof. Payment shall be made at the City Treasury Office
According to the ordinance, to support the increasing cost of seedlings and to maintain and upgrade its public service operations, there is a need to impose increased rates as requested by the CEPMO.
It explained that the fees being collected by the city government have remained the lowest in comparison to those being collected by other highly urbanized cities and even municipalities.