Posted on 10:18 PM, May 05, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
PRESIDENT GLORIA Macapagal-Arroyo has declared a parcel of land in El Nido, Palawan, as a tourism economic zone to encourage establishment of recreation facilities and further develop tourism in the province.
Mrs. Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 2037 on April 12 to designate a 50,000-square meter parcel of land in Barangay Bebeladan, Pangulasian Island in El Nido as a tourism economic zone to be named as Green Tourism Ecozone-Pangulasian.
Tourism ecozones are tracts of land granted special economic zone status, according to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), an attached agency to the Department of Trade and Industry which oversees economic zones in the country. Republic Act (RA) 7916 or the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, as amended by RA 8748, grants perks to locators of economic zones such as exemptions from certain taxes.
PEZA Resolution No. 02-342 issued in 2002 also outlined incentives to locators of economic zones such as income tax holidays of at least four years and permission to employ foreign nationals, among others.
Locators of tourism economic zones are those engaged in the development and operation of sports and recreation centers, accommodations, cultural facilities, among other establishments, which primarily target foreign tourists.
The Department of Tourism (DoT) earlier said tourist arrivals reached 8.9 million as of end-2009, or 14% up from the previous year’s level. It expected tourist traffic to grow by 15% this year as foreign tourists recover from the economic slump in 2009. -- Gerard S. dela Peña