CHRISTMAS ON THE AIR. Tacloban City Alfred Romualdez lead in the switching on a giant Christmas tree at the Robinsons North on Sunday(Oct.9) wherein he announced during an interview on the plan of the city government to buy and rehabilitate the Leyte Park Resort and Hotel, a facility built by her aunt, former first lady Imelda Marcos. (ROBINSONS NORTH)

Using a Land Bank loan

TACLOBAN CITY– The city government here has sought a P1 billion loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines, a sizeable amount of which will be used to buy and rehabilitate a hotel built by former first lady Imelda Marcos.

This was confirmed by City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, nephew of the former first lady, who said that the move to manage the Leyte Park Resort and Hotel is to ‘save’ it from total decay.

“It’s not a question of venturing (into hotel business) but all I want is to save it and make use of it. It’s for the Taclobanons,”Romualdez said.

The city mayor said that eventually, the facility will be offered to a private company that has the capacity and knowledge in running a hotel business.

He also said that the reopening of the hotel will not only provide at least 2,000 jobs but add to the hotel rooms needed by the city as it expects an influx of tourists and even investors with the reopening of the economy affected by the pandemic for almost three years now.

He added that they will hire a private company that will help the city government redesign the hotel as he disclosed that they intend to have a convention center inside the 6.1-hectare property to accommodate thousands of visitors during a meeting or convention.
The city mayor further said that the operation of the Leyte Park Resort and Hotel will complement with the operation of an improved Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport.

According to Romualdez, needed papers are now being prepared regarding the possible takeover of the hotel by the city government using the P1 billion planned loan of the city government from the Land Bank which gave a P1.7 billion credit line to the local government.

The city mayor, however, clarified that not all of the P1 billion planned loan will be spent for the purchase and rehabilitation of the said hotel.

While Romualdez did not say the amount to be spent for this purpose, there were information that the city government will be spending P500 million for this endeavor.
The city mayor said that the hotel is now in a state of decay reason a ‘huge amount’ of money will be needed to make it useful again.

The hotel ceased to operate in 2021 after its private operator, whose been leasing the facility since 1994, did not renew its contract as it chose to build his own hotel, also in the city.

The Leyte Park Resort and Hotel is being managed by the Privatization Management Office (PMO), the Leyte provincial government, and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism.

PMO serves as the national government’s marketing arm concerning transferred assets, government corporations and other properties assigned to it by the Privatization Council for disposition.

On the other hand, TIEZA is responsible for implementing policies and programs of the DOT related to the development, promotion, and supervision of tourism projects” in the country.
The Leyte provincial government owns the lot where the hotel is built.

The hotel, located along Magsaysay Boulevard here, was built in 1979 by the Marcos widow and was considered Eastern Visayas’ main hotel during its heyday.

However, it was seized in favor of the national government in 1987 claiming its part of the so-called ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.