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Tieza to assist LGUs in tourism assets development

MANILA, Philippines — The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) is eyeing to aid local government units in the development of tourism assets, a top-ranking official said.

In a recent interview, TIEZA chief operating officer Pocholo Paragas said the agency plans to help local government units that  are struggling to develop their tourism assets, in line with converting these idle properties into income-generating developments.

Paragas explained that there were several TIEZA assets that were turned over to a number of local government units when the agency was still operating as the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA).

“What we want to do is talk to the local government units, if you cannot maintain it then we will help, if not, bring it back to us, then the multiplier effect of us building, developing it, will go back to the local government unit,”Paragas said.

Based on information from TIEZA’s website, the agency has a total of 48 properties across the country, 11 of which have been turned-over to local government units. These include the Baguio Tourism complex, Batanes Staff House, Cagayan de Oro White Water Rafting, the Claveria Bagong Lipunan Lodge in Cagayan.

At present, only eight TIEZA assets are operational, while 23 properties are idle and six are leased out.

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Among the operational properties are the Balicasag Island Dive Resort in Bohol, Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel and Helipad in Ifugao, Club Intramuros Golf Course and  Intramuros Light and Sound Project in Manila, Dalaguete Beach Park Casay in Cebu, Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village in Cagayan de Oro City, Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City and Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park.

In contrast, TIEZA’s non-operating assets include the Agoo Playa in La Union, Argao Beach Club in Cebu, Kabayan Youth Hostel in Benguet, Pagsanjan Garden Resort in Laguna, and the Paoay Lake Sports Complex in Ilocos Norte, among others.

Paragas said TIEZA is looking at entering joint venture agreements for the development and management of the assets, and as well as leasing them out to generate more income.

“I need a partner to do it because our funding cannot accommodate the requirement,” Paragas said.

“Like what the President said recently, he’s amenable to long-term  lease or joint ventures,” Paragas said.

TIEZA is the infrastructure arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT). The agency was created by virtue of Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009.

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