Increasing The Entry Barrier To I-Café Industry
Increasing the entry barrier to the i-café industry is how I call it. Entry barrier can be better explained by citing an example like that of opening a drugstore business. Not just anybody can open a drugstore (botika) and start selling medicines to the public. It will need a licensed pharmacist and require a lot of permits from different government agencies.
While just anybody with say PhP200k or even less can decide and begin operating an i-café in no time at all, such cannot happen if the LGU requirements to operate such an establishment will be defined and properly implemented to make the entry barrier to the business higher. What are these requirements that I speak off? I will cite a few I have on my mind and I request your inputs on the subject.
1. Minimum number of computers for rent in an i-café of say, 20 units.
2. Average area of two (2) square meters per unit of PC for rent.
3. Adequate ventilation, if not air-conditioning, in the area during operation.
4. Presence of at least one (1) comfort room for customers’ use.
5, Compliance with all fire safety standards and regulations.
6. Use of legal and/or licensed software in all units.
7. Categorize all i-cafés into “gaming” or “non-gaming” i-cafes for the taxation and zoning purposes.
8. Lower local tax for “non-gaming i-cafés” as compared to “gaming” ones.
9. Zoning regulation banning “i-gaming cafés” within two hundred (200) meters from schools.
10. Zoning regulation providing for “gaming i-cafés” to be allowed only in commercial areas like malls, shopping centers and the like provided further that such areas are not within 200 meters from schools.
In my opinion, if the above and maybe more reasonable requirements will be imposed to both new entrants and current operators of i-cafés (with grace period to comply for those already engaged in the business), the desire to have a more reasonable rate will be on-hand soon.