TIEZA office San Vicente to open more opportunities
The opening of the Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) office and Tourist Information Center (TIC) in Barangay New Agutaya, San Vicente, is seen to open more opportunities for the town. Maribel Buñi, Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) chief operations officer, said the two facilities will connect the town to property builders, private enterprises, and other stakeholders who may want to open tourism investments. The information center, she said, will provide relevant facts about San Vicente to visitors who can pass them on through words of mouth. This will mean more visitors going to the town to enjoy its pristine environment, Buñi said. The construction of the two buildings was funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for San Vicente, its first “Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone” (TEZ). The two offices were inaugurated on October 28 coinciding with the arrival of the inaugural flight of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Express from Clark International Airport (CIA), Pampanga to the San Vicente Airport (SVA). The markers for the newly inaugurated buildings were unveiled, followed by the formal turn-over of the TIC to San Vicente. “This (San Vicente Flagship TEZ) will be the model of sustainability and inclusiveness,” said TIEZA chief operating officer Pocholo Paragas, who led the inauguration and turn-over ceremony. The construction of the TEZ Office and TIC began in 2016. The TIC will be the first stop for tourists and visitors where vital information will be provided for their stay in San Vicente, such as the accessible facilities, sta- tions, establishments, and activities within the Flagship TEZ. “Five years ago, it was very difficult to get here. You had to take a private plane or fly to Puerto Princesa and drive for five hours,” said Atty. Joy Bulauitan, TIEZA officer-in-charge assistant chief operating officer for administration and finance. Bulauitan was nostalgic as she reminisced how “five years ago the San Vicente Flagship TEZ was just an idea and how the local and national governments worked together to implement the vision.” The San Vicente Flagship TEZ, known for its 14.7-kilometer long unbroken stretch of pristine beach, is the newest eco-town in the Philippines. It is envisioned to be an environmentally and socially sustainable tourist destination that will be a catalyst for inclusive economic growth through public and private partnership.
(From left) Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Arturo Boncato, San Vicente Municipal Administrator James Paul Inawasan, and TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Pocholo Paragas during the turn-over ceremony of the Tourist Information Center to the Municipality of San Vicente. (Photo courtesy of TIEZA)