Puerto Princesa is aiming to convert the environmental estate in Sta. Lucia and the Cuyito into a tourism enterprise zone to boost their investment potentials.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron said, at Monday’s flag-raising ceremony, that he had the opportunity to pitch the city’s tourism plan to Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco during her visit last week, and the outcome was “positive.”

He added that after his meeting with Frasco, he also outlined the city’s goal to Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority’s (TIEZA) chief operating officer, Mark Lapid, who agreed to assist.

“Kasi yang dalawang area na yan ay ipapasok natin as a tourism enterprise zone (TEZ) area—sa TIEZA na under sa DOT,” he said.

“After ng meeting kay secretary, lumipad na siya, dumating yong COO ng TIEZA, si Mark Lapid, at muli nag one-on-one kami—prinisenta ko rin at maganda rin ang resulta. Nakakuha tayo ng commitment na tutulong sila,” Mayor Bayron added.

He said Frasco told him that his vision will be a big change to the city now that it is recovering from the effects of the pandemic. “Ang sabi ko, ‘talaga magbabago ang Puerto Princesa’, ang sabi naman niya, ‘no, not only Puerto Princesa but the entire country,’ yon ang sabi niya.”

Bayron said that Lapid committed to registering the environmental estate and Cuyito as a TEZ within three months if the city government could submit all the necessary requirements.

As TEZ, the two areas will benefit from national government incentives, can engage in imports, can be 100% foreign capital, investors can be given permanent residencies, gain financial and nonfinancial support, and others.

“At kahit sa mga incentives na yan, tutulungan pa ng incentives ng local government sa mga local taxes, hindi mahirap humanap ng mga investors sa ating dalawang area na yan,” he said.

He said he will meet with the consultants of the environmental estate for an “output”, which would be part of the documents that will be submitted to TIEZA for TEZ registration.