Cebu properties looking to become tourism ecozones

By: Gerard Vincent Francisco September 21,2018 - 11:34 PM

 

A RESORT-CASINO, a mixed-use township, and leisure residences are among the properties in Cebu particularly in Mactan Island that are looking to be designated as tourism enterprise zones (TEZ).

Donald Maldonado, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority’s manager for the evaluation and registration division, said that the Emerald Resort and Casino, the Mactan Newtown, and the Amisa Private Residences were among the properties seeking to get TEZ accreditation.

The Emerald Resort and Casino is an integrated casino-resort property, which is a project of the Udenna Development Corp., the Mactan Newtown is a Megaworld township project, and Amisa Private Residences is a leisure residences of Robinsons Land Corp.

TEZ

The TIEZA defines a TEZ as a tract of land with defined boundaries and is master planned to be developed into an integrated tourism complex with prescribed carrying capacities to host tourism enterprise facilities and services within the property.

Maldonado, however, said that the management of these properties were still complying with requirements and were still under evaluation by TIEZA.
The TIEZA has designated 43 tourism landmarks in the Philippines, with only the foreign-owned Queen’s Castle in Medellin as the only TEZ property in Cebu.

Bring in investors

Director Shalimar Tamano of the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) said in a phone interview on Wednesday that an economic zone under TIEZA would potentially bring in more investors to Cebu, instead of other neighboring nations.

“Para gyud na sila nga potential investors, para to encourage them to investors to invest here in Cebu, because investing is also a competition,” he said.

Maldonado said that the JPark Island Resort and Waterpark and the South Road Properties were properties that they wished would be transferred to the TIEZA as both were under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

TEZ, PEZA

He also said that for a property in an economic zone under PEZA, however, had to leave PEZA, for it to be registered under TIEZA.

A Tourism Enterprise Zone under the PEZA receives a four-year income tax holiday (ITH), 5 percent Special Tax on Gross Income, and exemption from all national and local taxes, tax and duty-free importation of capital equipment, VAT Zero Rating on local purchases of goods and services, including land-based telecommunications, electric power, and water bills, and exemption from expanded withholding tax, as their fiscal incentives.

But, John Arfy Ceniza, PEZA information officer, said that they would have to meet with executives of TIEZA before the property would be under a TIEZA zone.

“Ang mga tourism zones under PEZA, also went through a registration,” said Ceniza.

However, Tamano is in full support of the transfer, as he says it can make their businesses’ work much easier.

The TIEZA will give a six-year ITH, gross income taxation, with an endorsement by TIEZA, Capital Investment and Equipment Importations, and a Social Responsibility Incentive, which is a tax deduction equivalent to 50 percent of the cost of environmental protection.

Maldonado also said that because of TEZs incentives, more investors will be coming to Cebu to have their business in Cebu.

The TIEZA also provides infrastructure support for the investors under them.

Under the Tourism Act, all Tourism Enterprise Zones are entitled by law to transfer their ownership to the TIEZA.

“With the RA (9593) they need to be transferred,” said Raquel Gaerlan, Officer-in-charge of TIEZA’s TEZ Management Sector.

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