San Vicente in Palawan has become the Philippines’ first Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) holding the ceremonial groundbreaking there.
TEZ that falls under the country’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) is a joint initiative of the DOT and TIEZA. Its aim is seek out potential sites and develop them into sustainable tourism destinations as part of the Philippine National Tourism Development Plan.
San Vicente has been chosen as the first project because of its pristine natural attractions like forests, islands, coves, and especially 14.7 kilometers ofshoreline that is said to be the longest in the world, said TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Guiller B. Asido.
The project is expected to be ready within the year, in time for the projected opening of the San Vicente airport by this December.
A few other infrastructure projects like the completion of Itabiak Road leading to the Long Beach area, which will make reaching the TEZ by land from other parts of Palawan, upgrading of the pier at Barangay Poblacion, and another docking area in the TEZ, are also part of this project. Besides, when the San Vicente airport opens by the end of this year this new tourist spot will be just one-and-a-half hours away from Manila.
Palawan Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez is hopeful that the project will help San Vicente become a major tourist destination and create thousands of new jobs.
Besides, an Integrated Tourism Master Plan (ITMP) for San Vicente, has also been formulated to study the variety of tourism products possible in the area, according to DOT Undersecretary Maria Victoria Jasmin
“The ITMP is now complete, and we are in the process of crafting an investment promotions program that will make the public-private partnership in San Vicente attractive to private investors,” she said.