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Entertainment license fees finally arrive

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Entertainment license fees finally arrive | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: More than 14 months after all entertainment licenses were declared statutorily void, a list of fees for entertainment licenses has been announced, paving the way for provincial authorities to start processing applications.

Wisut Romin, Deputy Secretary of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Office, told the Gazette that he received the list of fees today, although it was ratified by the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) on March 29.

K. Wisut said that there are “about” 344 entertainment venues in Phuket that must apply for the licenses.

He added that officers from Muang, Thalang and Kathu Districts have been advised of the fees and have posted “informal” announcements to all venue owners within their areas.

K. Wisut added that Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura or one of the province’s vice-governors will issue – again by post – formal announcements to the owners by Sunday.

The venue owners will have 30 days from the date of posting to apply for their license or licenses.

The entertainment venue categories and fees for the first 12-month license – all licenses will expire on December 31 each year – are as follows:

3 (1): “Dancing places”. This covers discotheques and ram wong (traditional Thai dancing) venues.

– Area of not more than 100 square meters: 10,000 baht.

– 101sqm-300sqm but not over 300sqm: 30,000 baht.

– 301sqm and up: 50,000 baht.

3 (2): “Tea shops.” These no longer exist in Phuket.

– Area not more than 100sqm: 30,000 baht.

– 101sqm-300sqm: 40,000 baht.

– 301sqm and up: 50,000 baht.

3 (3): Massage parlors.

– Not more than 30 service rooms: 30,000 baht.

– 31-50 rooms: 40,000 baht.

– 51 rooms and up: 50,000 baht.

3 (4): Entertainment venues. There are four subcategories:

3 (4) a: a place providing a show or other activities for entertaining customers, and allowing staff to socialize with patrons;

3 (4) b: a place that provides equipment for patrons to sing, and allows staff to socialize with the patrons;

3 (4) c: a place that has no dance floor but allows customers to dance on the premises;

3 (4) d: other places that have light or sound facilities, depending on Ministry rulings yet to be made.

– Area of not more than 100 square meters: 10,000 baht.

– 101sqm-300sqm but not over 300sqm: 30,000 baht.

– 301sqm and up: 50,000 baht.

3 (5): Restaurants that provide entertainment and close after midnight (primarily upmarket venues with cultural shows).

– Area not more than 100sqm: 10,000 baht.

– 101sqm-300sqm but not over 300sqm: 30,000 baht.

– 301sqm and up: 50,000 baht.

Upon annual renewal, venue owners will pay 20% of the initial license fee for subsequent licenses.

Also, any venue owner whose license is lost or destroyed will be able to receive a replacement for 1,000 baht – if they can prove that they had been issued a new license.

“A 10,000-baht [initial] license equates to just 833 baht or so per month, and only 166 baht per month to renew,” said K. Wisut. “It is a reasonable amount to pay.”

Asked why it had taken so long for the list of fees to be announced – and whether venue owners would be charged for 2004/2005 licenses, K. Wisut said, “It is very likely, but it is up to the Ministry of Interior.”

Referring to his comments made on February 1 this year, when he suggested that owners of entertainment venues damaged in the December 26 tragedy could see their fees waived, he said that the MoI had again still to make a decision.

The province’s Chief Administrative Officer (Palad), Vichan Busapavanich told the Gazette that the owner of any venue found not to have a valid license would be given a period of grace for officers to investigate whether the infringement was deliberate or accidental.

“If it is an oversight on the part of the owner, then they will be given time – I cannot tell you how long – to rectify the matter. If they are deliberately avoiding paying the license fee, then they will be closed down eventually,” he said.

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Thailand

Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities | The Thaiger
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3 cities in Thailand recently joined UNESCO’s membership of so called “learning cities” which are said to promote “lifelong learning” and sustainable development. Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket joined the UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities. Altogether, 55 cities from 27 countries, adding up to 230 cities in 64 countries around the world, according to UNESCO.

“These cities are outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at local level. They have proven that effective lifelong learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and contribute to the 2030 Agenda.”

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning David Atchoarena says the recent new members have shown that they can make “lifelong learning a reality,” even after enduring the pandemic.

“With unprecedented urgency, the Covid-19-19 pandemic has underlined the necessity to build more resilient education systems for the future. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be at the centre of this undertaking.”

David says he hopes it will inspire other cities in Thailand to follow.

“I very much hope that we will see many other cities from Thailand joining the network and working on providing lifelong learning opportunities for all to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mayor of Chachoengsao, Kolayuth Chaisang, says his goal is to provide “effective education, thoroughly and equally to all citizens.” According to the Bangkok Post, the city is a key urban centre both economically and culturally.

The mayor of Chiang Mai, Tussanai Buranupakorn, says he wants to revitalise the city, while also maintaining the cultural significance. The city has a number of educational institutes, which goes along with UNESCO’s learning city principles.

Phuket is a hub of sustainable creativity, according to the Bangkok Post. The mayor of Phuket, Somjai Suwansupana, says he wants to preserve the city’s “identity, local wisdom assets and the charm of our multiculturalism.”

SOURCES: UNESCO |Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

A newborn baby was found on a bench at a neighborhood by Phuket’s Patong Road. The baby boy was wrapped in cloth and left inside a reusable shopping bag. The bag also had a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing.

A woman walking by early in the morning heard the baby crying. She followed the cries and found the baby on the bench. She called police and calmed the baby, feeding him milk that was left in the bag.

Police took the baby to the Patong Hospital. The baby, about a week old, is in good health, police say.

“Police and rescue workers together rushed to the scene and called Patong Hospital to have a medical team meet us there … This baby is healthy and does not appear to have suffered any injuries. He is now safe and being cared for at Patong Hospital.”

Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage to see if they can track down the mother, or whoever left the baby behind.

Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Visa

Phuket Immigration handing out ‘conditional’ 14 day visas, pending investigations

The Thaiger

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Phuket Immigration handing out ‘conditional’ 14 day visas, pending investigations | The Thaiger

Confusion reigns. It was predictable and many people, despite months of warnings, have left their visa extensions to the last minute. Meanwhile Thai immigration don’t appear to be making the process easy as The Thaiger has received multiple comments from foreigners visiting the various immigration offices around the country and encountering ‘local’ applications of the published guidelines and, in some cases, demands for additional paperwork.

A note to The Thaiger, we won’t publish the person’s name, from Phuket where a person applying for an extension to their visa has been given something less than the 30 days promised by the government.

“On Monday Phuket Immigration was only giving 14 day ‘conditional’ VISA extensions from the date of application, not from September 26. They announced this was to allow time to “investigate and verify” the need for the extension.

So basically we paid 1900 baht for a 14 day extension. After announcing this many people left as many que numbers were called and nobody came up. They said if that were the case they would come back later in the week.

So we have to go back on October 5 (or a few days later is ok they announced) to see if we’re approved for the 30 day extension from September 26. If not we would be immediately “overstaying” at 500 baht/day.

Thank you
C

Another writer, speaking about the same matter, said that they were still being charged the non-refundable 1900 baht fee for the 2 week extension….

“They still collected the non refundable 1900 baht fee.”

Yesterday a person, who had been living in Bangkok under the auspices of the visa amnesty on a lapsed Non Immigrant B (Business) visa, ended up visiting three different offices to get his paperwork sorted out. This is after first contacting immigration by phone to confirm the particular office to attend. He had a letter from the US Embassy explaining that he would be unable to return to the US at this stage due to lack of flights and the current Covid-19 situation in the US. He made an appointment online, as instructed, and it still didn’t go very smoothly.

The instructions he received….

If your Visa was cancelled during the Covid-19 crisis, and you are currently under the amnesty grace period set to expire September 26, you will need to schedule an appointment online to queue in with the Immigration Division 1 at Muang Thong Thani (near Don Mueang Airport). You will need…
  • Online appointment with Immigration Division 1
  • Passport
  • TM 6 Departure Card
  • 1,900 Baht fee for short term extension
  • Letter from embassy specifically stating inability to leave Thailand due to lack of repatriation flights and or a high risk of contracting Covid-19 in one’s home nation.
  • US Embassy letter request can be made online here
  • Portrait photo to affix to short term extension application 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm in dimension

After going to Counter K and Counter J (2 separate buildings), he ended up being asked to go to the Chaeng Wattana office instead, and then was shuffled off to yet another office. Additional paperwork was also requested, beyond what had been asked for. After nearly a full day he ended up with a visa stamp for a 30 day extension in his visa.

He also noted that there is NO ATM around the Mueang Thong Thani immigration offices and our reader had to take a 60 baht motorcycle taxi ride to get cash.

Probably worse, he said that the Immigration officials (clearly overworked at this time), were “extremely rude” and that the facilities (apparently temporary) are “less-than-adequate”, especially the Counter K, which was basically a parking garage with seats… no fans.

Additionally, contrary to the clear advice on the Thai Immigration website, most people getting their extensions were from the date of their visit and NOT the end of the September 26 amnesty.

Phuket Immigration handing out 'conditional' 14 day visas, pending investigations | News by The Thaiger

The moral of this tiny microcosm of stories is that it’s probably the busiest week for Thai immigration in history. The officials will be stressed and stretched, there will be long queues and there will be confusion. We should also mention that we’ve had a few foreigners contact us saying that things went very smoothly for their extensions, so well done to all concerned in those examples!

Be prepared, take ALL your paperwork, expect to asked to produce more evidence, make sure you have all your photos and copies of your passport, TM 6 departure card, plus filled-in applications before you head to the Immigration offices.

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