TACLOBAN CITY– The decision of the city government of Tacloban to purchase and operate a hotel built by former first lady Imelda Marcos was welcomed by the head of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
Mark Lapid, the chief operating officer of the TIEZA, said that they were glad and opposed no objection on this decision of the city government to take over the Leyte Park Resort Hotel.
“The mayor told us that they are pursuing it. Since we have a 40% stake of it, we oppose no objection on it,” Lapid said.
Lapid was interviewed during the switch-on ceremony of the aesthetic light and sound show at the San Juanico Bridge last October 19 with TIEZA providing the P80 million fund for the said project.
To recall, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez disclosed that the city government will be P1 billion borrowing loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines of which P500 million will be used to purchase and rehabilitate the Leyte Park Resort, once the only five-star hotel in Eastern Visayas.
The said property, sprawling at six-hectare along Magsaysay Boulevard, was built in 1979 during the time of former first lady Imelda Marcos, aunt of the city mayor.
Lapid said that he had a discussion with Mayor Romualdez on this issue during his visit.
“We are very glad that the city government will take over the Leyte Park Hotel. If the city government will not take over the hotel, kami ang magta-take over,” he said.
“But since the city government is interested and very aggressive in pursuing to have it operated, we are very happy and supportive of that idea,” Lapid added.
He added that he is happy that the city government wants to operate the hotel as it means that it is engaging in tourism-related activity.
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 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.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)