By: Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star)
Published on on October 13, 2019 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority has designated a new tourism enterprise zone (TEZ) in Bataan.

In a Facebook post, the TEZ management sector said it recently designated the 30.9 hectare Marilag cove in Bagac, Bataan as a TEZ.

“It is envisioned to enrich Bataan with its 365-day, five-star non-membership luxury beach hotel and resort and events destination that is within a four-hour drive or one-hour ferry from Metro Manila,” the TIEZA said.

TIEZA said the Marilag Cove is guided by the principles of sustainability by developing the land with the least impact to the environment.

“Its construction is only within 40 percent of the property, while the remaining 60 percent will be retained as nature reserves and open spaces,” it said.

A TEZ is an area of at least five hectares in size and is in one contiguous territory with historical and cultural significance, environmental beauty, or existing potential integrated leisure facilities within its vicinity.

Earlier this year, President Duterte signed Republic Act 11262, which extends the granting of incentives to TEZs for another 10 years or until 2029 by the TIEZA.

Among the incentives to be granted to TEZ developers and tourism enterprises include a six-year income tax holiday that may be extended for another six years, a five percent preferential tax on gross income in lieu of national taxes except for real property tax and fees of TIEZA, a net operating loss carry over scheme, import tax exemptions for capital goods and equipment needed for TIEZA-registered activities, and import tax exemptions for transport equipment and spare parts needed for TIEZA-registered activities.

They will also be exempted from value-added tax and excise tax goods imported by TIEZA-registered activities, tax credit equivalent to taxes paid on locally sourced goods, and tax deduction of up to 50 percent of cost of environmental protection and cultural heritage preservation activities as well as of sustainable livelihood programs of the registered tourism enterprises.

TIEZA chief operating officer Pocholo Paragas earlier told The STAR that they have been receiving a lot of inquiries as well as applications for TEZs since the approval of the extension of incentives.

“We want it to be a milestone year for TEZs next year, so we’re doing the roadshows now,” Paragas said.

In June, the TIEZA’s TEZ Management Sector designated the Solaire Cruise Center and Yacht Harbor as a cruise TEZ while the Citadines- Amigo was designated as a registered tourism enterprise(RTE).

Apart from the newly-designated tourism ecozones, the TIEZA has five flagship TEZs across the country. These are the 883.11-hectare Long Beach area of San Vicente, Palawan; the Rizal Park Complex in Manila; Mt. Samat Shrine in Bataan; Panglao Bay Premiere in Bohol; and Bucas Grande in Surigao del Norte.

The TIEZA also has seven private TEZs namely Ciudad de Victoria in Bulacan, Queen’s Castle Golf and Resort in Cebu, Bravo Golf in Negros Oriental, Hijo Resources in Davao del Norte, Kingdom Global City in Davao, Aton Land & Leisure Zone in Negros Occidental, and Amorita Resort in Bohol.

The agency earlier said the extension of the availment of the fiscal incentives until 2029 is projected to generate P222 billion in capital investments and 160,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities in the next 10 years.