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Bacolod City eyes tax on utility poles

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• CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

An ordinance imposing a Mayor’s Permit fee on electric and/or telecommunication poles/posts owned by public utility companies erected on government/private lots using government streets, roads, highways and/or alleys at the rate of P500 per post per year, was recently passed on first reading by the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The ordinance authored by Councilors Vladimir Gonzalez and Renecito Novero said electric and/or telecommunication poles, posts, and towers sprouting everywhere in Bacolod City pose a hazard to traffic and the safety of the public, if these are not well maintained. These also serve as nuisance to the panorama or skyline of the city.

The city government under the Local Government Code is vested with authority to impose regulatory fees and charges for activities and undertakings being done in the city, it said.

The ordinance provides that the City Engineer should conduct regular inventory of all electric and telecommunication poles, posts and towers in the city, indicating the respective owners, and submit the same to the City Treasurer for purposes of imposing the fee under this ordinance.

It added that the manager, administrator or head of office of utility companies, distributors of emergency power, owners/proprietors of buildings, and their contractors, who will be found violating the provisions of this ordinance, will suffer the following fines and penalties: a fine of P500 for first offense; P1,000 for second offense; and P2,000 for third offense; and a fine of P4,000 or imprisonment of not more than one month, or both such fine and imprisonment upon the discretion of the court.*

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