The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority launched a strategic initiative dubbed as TIEZA-Owned/Operated TEZ Program in 2023 to search and select a landholding to develop and manage its very own Tourism Enterprise Zone to generate local employment and encourage investments that will promote integrated tourism development and stimulate other economic activities therein. TIEZA aims to build its portfolio of assets that will further increase its revenue generation.

Similar with the tourism zones in other countries, such as Nusa Dua in Indonesia, Jeju Island in South Korea, and Cancun in Mexico, the TIEZA-Owned/Operated TEZ Program recognizes the need for the government to have a direct participation in area development through investment promotion and infrastructure development including real property ownership, development, and management.

In partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT), its Office of Tourism Regulation, Coordination, and Resource Generation and the DOT Regional Offices, TIEZA called for property endorsements from the provincial to municipal levels for government-owned or privately-owned land that are planned for tourism purposes. The Authority received 25 endorsements from the various DOT ROs namely: two (2) from the Cordillera Administrative Region, one (1) from Region I, one (1) from Region II, one (1) from Region III, two (2) from Region IVA, one (1) from Region IVB, four (4) from Region V, three (3) from Region VII, three (3) from Region IX, two (2) from Region X, two (2) from Region XI, and three (3) from Region XII.

The properties were evaluated based on the landholding characteristics, accessibility, and availability of basic utilities, tourism resources, institutional support, and economic viability. After an assessment of the documents presented by the respective local government units, only eleven (11) properties passed the initial screening. TIEZA then conducted ocular inspection of the eleven (11) properties to validate all information provided and conduct related meetings.

Finally, three properties emerged as top three, namely, the 84-hectare portion of the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve in Los Baños, Laguna in Region IVA, the 50-hectare LGU-owned property in Brgy. Ayala, Magalang in Pampanga in Region III, and the 100-hectare public land in Brgy. Santa Lucia in Puerto Princesa City in Region IVB.

These properties will be subjected to appraisal and technical due diligence to guide the Authority in its final selection of the next property to be master planned and developed into a tourism enterprise zone.