Operation of amusement rides, theme parks to be regulated

BAGUIO CITY September 10 – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance regulating the operation of amusement rides and theme parks in the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated that subject to applicable national laws, rules and regulations, the local legislative body shall grant through an ordinance, the rights, privileges and authority to operate amusement rides and theme parks before any permit is given to an applicant who shall meet the prescribed qualifications, specifically, that the applicant must be at least 21 years of age, Filipino citizen, in case of juridical persons, the applicant is organized and existing under Philippine laws; and the applicant must possess the required valid and subsisting barangay resolution or certificate to operate from the barangay where the enterprise intends to operate, educational institutions located in the proximity where the enterprise is proposed to be operated.

The ordinance added that any privilege to operate amusement rides or theme parks shall be conditioned in the grantee's faithful, continued and strict compliance with the appropriate regulations on operator's obligations where he or she must pay the necessary business permit fees, including occupational permit fees for its personnel, installation of safety restraints, assist guests in boarding the rides, verbally convey safety reminders and verify that ride restraints are properly fastened; no amusement rides or theme parks must be established or allowed to operate without compliance to Ordinance No. 63, series of 2016 or the zoning ordinance of the city; children will not be allowed to enter the premises unless accompanied by a person of legal age, preferably their parents or guardians; students will only be allowed to enter the premises only after class hours, provided that, they are not in their school uniforms; operators of amusement rides and theme parks shall not include any games of chance prohibited or not by existing laws within the entirety of their operation; must have parking areas for their customers so as not to congest city roads; prominently placed easily to read and understand signages and no alcoholic drinks or drugs shall be in any way brought in, consumed or used within the area of the amusement rides or theme parks and no deadly weapons shall be allowed.

The ordinance stipulated that compliance to mechanical permits and electrical clearances from the City Buildings and Architecture office (CBAO) and safety clearance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall be a requirement in the application and renewal of business permit from the local government and no person shall operate an amusement ride and theme park unless there is an insurance policy enforced provided by an insurance company authorized to do business in the country.

The ordinance claimed that it will be the discretion of the local legislative body whether or not to extend the operation of the amusement rides or theme parks and in such a case, applications for extension of operation of the said businesses must be submitted to the local legislative body prior to the expiration of the existing permit or authority to operate.

Under the provisions of the ordinance, any operator found to have violated the conditions enshrined in the measure shall pay the fine of P5,000 aside from the automatic revocation of the business permit issued by the local government.

By Dexter A. See

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