Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) assets have been opened to a public-private partnership as part of the government’s bid to attract private investments and fast-track tourism growth in the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Thursday.
The TIEZA Board chaired by the DOT, in its meeting held Tuesday, approved the inclusion of all TIEZA assets and Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) development projects in the Public-Private Cooperation Program (PPCP), adopting Joint Venture and Management Contract as additional modalities for privatization, in support of the agency’s goal to generate more private sector partners.
TIEZA chief operating officer Pocholo Paragas said they want to “broaden the scope of privatization as well as provide additional options of modes of contractual arrangements which the local or foreign investors can avail.”
Meanwhile, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said opening TIEZA assets to PPP will accelerate tourism investments and development of tourism infrastructure in the country, enhancing revenue streams for the agency with less financial exposure of government.
Last August 29, the TIEZA Board had approved the agency’s own joint venture guidelines (JVG) that will be used to allow private sector participation in the development, operation, management and/or disposition of TIEZA properties and facilities, whether owned, administered or controlled.
Through the proposed joint venture, TIEZA will retain control and supervision of the assets but will be able to tap on private sector expertise on the day-to-day operations of the assets as well as private sector funding of necessary improvements of the assets.
During the Board meeting, the Board also approved the initiation of public bidding for two operating properties–Club Intramuros Golf Course (CIGC) and Balicasag Island Dive Resort (BIDR) for the last quarter of this year 2019, as well as the minimum financial bid parameters that will be offered to prospective private sector investors.
With the expertise and capital of the private sector, TIEZA hopes to improve these facilities and enhance the operations of the two properties, which have been incurring losses in the past years.
CIGC is one of the oldest golf courses in the Philippines at the heart of Manila and near government offices, universities, hotels, museums, commercial establishments and is identified as the site for a cruise port. It also offers the only night golf venue in Manila.
BIDR, on the other hand, is the only resort on Balicasag Island within the municipality of Panglao, Bohol. The entire island has a total land area of 25 hectares.
Other notable TIEZA assets to be offered for privatization include the Banaue Hotel in Ifugao, the Argao Beach Club in Cebu, the Zamboanga Golf Course, and properties in Matabungkay, Batangas, Moalboal, Cebu, and Talisay, Batangas. (PNA)