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Umayos kayo: Binay reminds CHED to use travel tax for tourism educ programs

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Senator Nancy Binay has sought for an inventory of sort from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on programs it has funded using its share from travel tax revenues.

The directive came due the remarks made by CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan before the Senate finance committee, during the commission’s budget hearing last Thursday, that their allocation of travel tax need not be used for tourism-related programs.

“Kaya po it ibinibigay sa CHED ay upang maging kabalikat natin ang ahensyang ito sa pagpapalago pa ng industriya ng turismo sa bansa​,” she said.

“​Nakapagtataka lang na kakaiba ang sagot ni Chairperson Licuanan noong nakaraang budget hearing sa Senado na hindi raw kinakailangang sa mga programang pang-turismo gugulin ang pondong ito gayong patunay ang Tourism Act of 2009 na may obligasyon ang kaniyang ahensya na ilagak ang share nito sa travel tax sa mga proyekto at kurso na may koneksyon sa turismo,” she ​added.​

The chair of the Senate committee on tourism was referring to the provisions of RA 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009 that says that 40% of the travel tax collections will be provided to CHED.

Binay said Section 93 of the said law specifically states that priority in the utilization of the said funds as tourism-related education programs and courses/

The senator urged CHED to review the provisions of the law and submit an audit report on programs it has so far funded using travel tax collections, the biggest contributor the Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF) of the commission.

“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,” the senator said.