Tieza to resume implementation of at least 82 LGU projects halted by coronavirus pandemic


THE Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza) aims to resume the implementation of 82 infrastructure projects in local government units that were earlier halted due to lack of funds.

According to Tieza COO Mark Lapid, these projects were “previously approved [by the Board], but suspended due to the remittance of P12 billion” of the agency’s funds to the National Treasury to support the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. A number of these projects, he stressed, will be resumed “subject to the availability of funds.” Tieza is the infrastructure arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), with its operations mainly funded by the collection of travel taxes. (See, “Online payment boosts Tieza’s tax take,” in the BusinessMirror, March 3, 2023.)

Also on Tieza’s plate this year, he said, is the continued implementation of ongoing projects amounting to P1.4 billion. This includes the long-running Boracay Water Drainage Program Phase 2 (Packages 1A, 3, 4, 5) in Aklan; the construction of the Inang Laya Flag Monument in Imus, Cavite; Emergency Work for Compliance with the Fire Department Requirement and temporary kitchen in Banaue Hotel in Ifugao; Completion of the Gat Andres Bonifacio Shrine and Eco-Tourism Park in Maragondon, Cavite; Construction of a boardwalk along the San Jose Airport (Phase 2) in Occidental Mindoro; Malacañang sa Sugbo in Cebu City; and the Restoration of Corregidor Breakwater on Corregidor Island, Cavite.

Boracay drainage completion delayed anew

Lapid explained the delay in the completion of the Boracay project, first started by Tieza’s predecessor, the Philippine Tourism Authority, as due to the “partial suspension” of the portion being undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways, because of the  “revision of plans to suit the actual site condition. Other works that are doable or not affected by redesign/revision are still [ongoing].” However, he admitted that the new completion date for Phase 2 of the program still “can’t be determined since the redesign is still subject for review and approval by the DPWH and Tieza.”

Phase 1 of the island’s water drainage program was completed in 2014 at a cost of some P92 million. Phase 2, with a budget of P1 billion, began in January 2018, and was supposed to be completed in 2020. The project is located along the 400-meter road network at Bloomfield Road, including a drainage line at Lugutan Road, Station 3 access road, PCTV access road, D’Talipapa road, Azalea Resort road, and from Station 1 to Station 3 collector drainage line along the white beach, within the 25+5 easement.

Support to historical monuments, war museums

Documents from Tieza, copies of which were furnished to the BusinessMirror,  showed infrastructure projects to be undertaken this year, costing about P800 million. These projects include: the Construction of the Design and Build Project for the Enhancement of the Arrival and Departure Areas at terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (collaboration with the DOT and Department of Transportation); the Design and Build of Bicycle Facilities (collaboration with DOTr and the Intramuros Administration); construction of  10 Tourist Rest Areas across the country; rehabilitation of the Tieza office in San Vicente, Palawan as well as the establishment of monument markets along the Long Beach; along with several projects at the Mt. Samat Shrine in Bataan, including the aesthetic lighting of its memorial cross and colonnade,  geodetic survey and geotechnical analysis of a development site to include a Center for World War II Studies, a cable car, and walking trail,  and the renovation and construction of new restrooms.

Other infrastructure projects for implementation this year include the reconstruction of the Corregidor Breakwater in Cavite; an Assets Rehabilitation Program covering Banaue Hotel, Balicasag Island Dive Resort, Gardens of Malasag, Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park;  construction of a Modular Docking Facility at Pinagmangalucan, Palawan; and the Development of a New Rizal Park Children’s Playground as well as the refurbishment of the park’s restrooms.

Tieza, a government-owned and -controlled corporation, has targeted to collect close to P5 billion in travel taxes this year, with the easing of international travel restrictions. Of that amount, it will retain 50 percent, or some P2.3 billion. The rest go to the Commission on Higher Education (40 percent) and to the National Commission for Culture and Arts (10 percent).