Davao City planning to regulate vacation home rentals

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Davao City Hall

THE DAVAO city government is planning to issue policy guidelines for the online vacation home-rental industry and will use as possible models similar regulations issued in Singapore and Japan.

City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) head Regina Rosa B. Tecson said the agency has started discussions with homeowners who intend to rent out their units to visitors on the need to regulate the emerging industry.

Last year, the CTOO also initiated communications with operators of home-sharing online sites and applications to work out taxation issues.

Ms. Tecson said those renting out their condominium units will need to “secure business permits and (comply with) the Tourism Code of the city.”

Under the amended Tourism Code of Davao City passed last year, “home-sharing applications” must secure a certificate of registration from the CTOO and a mayor’s permit to operate.

So far, she noted, only about 20 unit owners have secured permits to operate.

She said the guidelines are intended to protect both owners and clients in the event of disputes.

She said in Japan, the government requires home-share operators to sign with a third party for dealing with complaints, while in Singapore, the owner of an unlicensed establishment could face criminal charges. — Carmelito Q. Francisco