MANILA, Philippines — More public-private partnerships could help the tourism industry recover from the pandemic, the PPP Center said.

The tourism sector can tap PPPs to build the supporting infrastructure for tourism-led economic growth, it said.

The Department of Tourism earlier met with all concerned government agencies to solicit inputs on agency initiatives concerning tourism development this year and for 2023.

PPP Center director Maria Lerma Advincula said the full implementation of the economic recovery program should always include private sector participation through PPPs.

“In the case of our tourism sector, infrastructure development is central to its ability to bounce back. The private sector can play a vital role in this much-needed infrastructure for tourism-led economic recovery,” she said.

The tourism industry was badly hit by COVID-19 and the Tourism Development Plan is a priority program of the economic development cluster.

Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for nearly 13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. But since 2020, the sector has been hit the hardest as borders were closed to avert further spread of the virus.

Several experts have said the continued reopening of the country to travel and tourism is expected to bode well for a stronger economic recovery this year.

Currently, the country’s PPP program has several tourism projects under implementation.

Using an integrated approach, the PPP Center and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority are developing the Rizal Park Western Section Development Project.

This project involves the redevelopment of Rizal Park to preserve its cultural significance while optimizing the engagement of the private sector in the financing, design, improvement, construction, and operation and maintenance of the park and its facilities and attractions.

The PPP Center is also assisting the University of the Philippines for the UP-Los Baños Agro-Industrial and Information Technology Parks Project.

Other tourism-related PPP projects in the pipeline include property development projects such as the Clark TIEZA Tourism Enterprise Zone–150-room three-star hotel and the Mt. Data Lodge Project.

One PPP tourism-related project that is operational is the Clark International Airport Expansion– Engineering, Procurement and Construction and Operation and Maintenance implemented by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

BY: Louise Maureen Simeon – The Philippine Star
March 25, 2022 | 12:00am