A press conference concerning the licensing of foot massage parlors by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) was held yesterday (22nd March 2002).
Foot massage is a burgeoning industry that has been existing for only about two years in Macau. Because of that, the government department needs time to analyze and study their actual range of services. Meanwhile, some of the foot massage parlors have registered for business tax at the Finance Services Bureau.
After consultation with the Health Department last year, MGTO started to get a clearer idea about the services offered by the foot massage industry. Finally, this particular industry was included into the massage industry and not as medical treatment and health care. Therefore, MGTO is responsible to issue the licenses for foot massage parlors.
According to the present legal code, the massage industry is regulated under the decree 47/98/M that was promulgated in 26/10/1998. On this basis, MGTO has issued a missive to all foot massage parlors last August, requesting the operators to apply for the licenses. In order to let all of them know about the measure, MGTO has published an official notice in Portuguese and Chinese journals demanding that the operators of foot massage parlors should apply for licenses within 70 days.
Until the meeting on March 7 with representatives from foot massage premises, MGTO has received 17 applications for the license of foot massage parlors, the latest of them having been submitted on February 28, 2002. Among the applicants from the foot massage parlors, one obtained the license, three applications were rejected, MGTO is waiting for two parlors to apply for their blueprints, one is waiting for the report from the relevant departments, seven have to submit missing information or documents and to carry out modification works or improve the fire safety system, three parlors have just handed in their new blueprints.
MGTO stressed that the licensing procedure for foot massage parlors should abide by the law. Apart from the reports submitted by the Lands, Public Works & Transport Bureau, Health Bureau, Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Fire-brigade and Public Security Forces Bureau, the cooperation of the applicants is essential to assure a smooth licensing procedure. Licenses will be issued only for applications that comply with the existing regulations and requirements. Any foot massage parlors that operate before obtaining the license are breaching the law and will be prosecuted.