TACLOBAN CITY-Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla clarified that it is the Department of Tourism (DOT) and not the provincial government that will underwrite the major rehabilitation of the McArthur Park National Shrine which was damaged during the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda. Accordingly, a total of P60 million would be needed for the rehabilitation of the national park named after the legendary American general, Douglas McArthur. Petilla said that it is the DOT through its infrastructure arm, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) that will finance the rehabilitation of the sprawling park located at Barangay Candahug, Palo town.
In a separate interview, DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes confirmed that it is their office that will bankroll the rehabilitation of the national park. She, however, said that the P60 million mentioned is still not final as TIEZA is still deliberating it. But once the funding is approved by the members of the board of TIEZA, work will immediately commence and to be done in three years time. The national park is the venue of the annual Leyte Gulf Landings celebration which ushered in the liberation of the country from the Japanese invaders.
Tiopes said that the DOT already downloaded P700,000 used for the quick fix of the park in time for the celebration of the 70th Leyte Landing Commemoration this October 20.
Included in the quick fix is the repair of the flag poles at the McArthur Shrine that were also damage by the typhoon and an implementation for a cash-for-work program in cleaning the park.
Illumination of the entire park is also included in the quick-fix fund. The national park is the venue of the annual Leyte Gulf Landings celebration which ushered in the liberation of the country from the Japanese invaders.