DOT infrastructure unit earmarks P341 million for Iloilo landmarks

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT), through its infrastructure arm Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), is earmarking P340.7 million for the tourism infrastructure needs of Iloilo province.

“TIEZA made sure that the province of Iloilo will have our steadfast support in terms of tourism infrastructure development, and has allocated a total of P340.7 million for this purpose,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said at the hosted dinner during the Dinagyang Festival 2020.

“I am happy to announce the good news that the TIEZA board recently approved the allocation of P135 million which will be utilized for the restoration of three renowned landmarks in Iloilo,” she added.

The amount will be utilized for the restoration of three renowned landmarks in Iloilo namely, Arevalo Plaza, Molo Plaza and La Paz Plaza.

Other projects to be pursued by TIEZA in Iloilo include the rehabilitation of the historical Jaro Belfry, the construction of a Tourism Information Center and Tourist Rest Area (Green Restroom) in Esplanade 3, improvements of the Iloilo Convention Center and the development of the Sunburst Park.

Puyat earlier met with Iloilo tourism stakeholders including the provincial and city tourism officers, accommodation representatives, and members of the Iloilo MICE Alliance, to discuss digital tourism, DOT accreditation, and Iloilo flight connectivity, among others. 

Apart from the Iloilo projects, Puyat said TIEZA will also spend P602 million for the creation of tourism development plans of different tourism destinations across the country, in line with ensuring the sustainability of these tourist spots.

Puyat said the DOT has already approved a number of tourism development plans that will focus on the masterplanning of destinations.

“From there, you will see what local infrastructure needs to be put in place,” Puyat said.

At present, there are six masterplanning projects being undertaken by TIEZA: Camotes Island, Bantayan Island, Maribojoc Island in Bohol, fourth district of Leyte, Siargao Island and Corregidor and surrounding islands.

In addition, the historical masterplan of Intramuros and Manila, as well as the Cavite historical masterplan projects are currently in the contract procurement stages.

Meanwhile, TIEZA has already approved a masterplanning project for Central Visayas.There are currently eight masterplanning projects waiting for TIEZA board approval. Among these are masterplanning projects for Davao Region, Bicol Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Ilocos Region, Northern Mindanao, Palawan and Western Visayas.

Puyat said the masterplanning of destinations will create an organized environment for tourism development.

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