The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Board in the Philippines recently approved almost PHP 4 billion (USD 79 million) worth of tourism Infrastructure projects which seek to promote sustainable tourism, restore and rehabilitate cultural and historical sites, and improve overall visitor experience. Priority tourism Infrastructure projects have been approved for the provinces such as Benguet, Palawan, Iloilo, Pampanga, Pangasinan and for Corregidor Island.
TIEZA is the Infrastructure arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT). During 2019, the TIEZA board approved a total of PHP 5 billion (USD 98 million) worth of tourism Infrastructure projects. Paragas explained that TIEZA is stepping up its investment in tourism Infrastructure in key tourism destination sites to spur growth, create jobs in local communities, and ensure the sustainability of the sites for future generations.
The big-ticket projects approved by TIEZA include:
- Rehabilitation of Burnham Park in Baguio;
- Construction of Wastewater Treatment Facility, modular floating docks and solar streetlights in Coron, Palawan;
- Tagkawayan Beach Tourism Development Project, modular floating docks in various barangays in Puerto Princesa, Palawan;
- Construction of Housing for Hyperbaric Chamber Facilities in El Nido and Coron, Palawan;
- Restoration/Rehabilitation of three plazas in Iloilo namely Arevalo, Molo, La Paz Plaza;
- Reconstruction and Retrofitting of St. Agustin Church and San Guillermo Church; and
- Reconstruction of breakwater in Corregidor Island in Cavite City.
TIEZA has allocated PHP 400 million (USD 8 million) for the rehabilitation of the Burnham lake and Children’s park to improve the recreational appeal and tourist value of this national asset
Palawan, which was include among the world’s best islands in 2019 by Travel+Leisure was also given high priority. The TIEZA board approved a total of PHP 854 million (USD 17 million) to fund various tourism Infrastructure projects in Palawan to provide a better, safe experience for tourists and manage environmental sustainability amid growth in tourist arrivals. This includes PHP 500 million (USD 9.8 million) for the Coron Wastewater Treatment Facility to prevent water pollution that is detrimental to coastal and marine resources.
The inclusion of projects for rehabilitation of public plazas in Iloilo and old churches in Pampanga is in line with TIEZA’s mandate to provide support for the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage sites which include churches, shrines and plazas. Specifically, TIEZA has allocated PHP 135 million (USD 2.6 million) for the three plazas in Iloilo and PHP 83 million (USD 1.6 million) for the reconstruction/ retrofitting of two churches in Pampanga.
TIEZA is also investing PHP 150 million (USD 2.9 million) for the reconstruction of breakwater in Corregidor Island as part of its efforts to preserve the beauty of this historic tourist destination. It seeks to preserve and protect the beach area from sand erosion and the existing cottages near the shore from damages brought about by big waves during stormy seasons.
(Source: Philippine News Agency)