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Binay to CHED: Fund tourism-related programs

  • Written by Camille P. Balagtas
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 269

Senator Nancy Binay yesterday warned the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to follow the Tourism Act
of 2009 which mandates it to fund tourism-related educational programs and courses.

Tourism Act of 2009 provides that 40% of the country’s total gross collections of travel tax
goes to CHED’s Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF) while 50% and 10% of the collections will be
given to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and the National Commission
for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), respectively.
    
According to Binay, the law requires CHED to fund the education and training of students by
providing tourism-related programs that would focus on languages, history, cultural appreciation and
management intended to improve the country’s competitiveness in the global market.
    
“I urge CHED to review RA 9593 and provide us with an audit of the programs it has so far funded
using its share of our travel tax collections,” she added.
    
Binay said it was envisioned that CHED will work hand in hand with state universities and
colleges to help the tourism industry grow.  She expressed her alarm over the statement of CHED
Chairperson Patricia Licuanan that a portion of the travel tax funds given to CHED need not be spent on
tourism related educational items.
    
Travel tax is the biggest contributor to the HEDF, with other sources of funding being the 30%
collection from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) fees and  1% portion from the PCSO lotto
operation gross sales.
    
CHED receives 40% of the country’s travel tax collections as provided for in RA 9593, or the
Tourism Act of 2009.
    
“We must ensure that they are complying with the law that governs the use of our travel tax, and
that the money indeed, as the law requires, goes on to tourism-related programs,” Binay stressed.
    
“Section 73 of RA 9593 states that CHED will retain its 40% share of the country’s travel tax
collections, provided that tourism-related educational programs and courses are prioritized in its
utilization,” Binay pointed out.
    
Binay said that the application of the travel tax can be used by CHED to promote tourism-related
conferences,  skills enhancement trainings, and supporting the Foreign Language curriculum, Tourism,
Culinary, Tourism Management, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Travel and Tour Management, Marketing and
Advertising as well as Urban Planning that may be offered by SUCs.  
    
However, in the National Tax Research Center’s (NTRC) January-February 2016 tax research
journal, it was noted that while SUCs offer tourism-related educational programs and courses, CHED has
admitted that it could not directly identify which among its projects and programs fall under this
category.