The declaration of the conversion of the historic site coincides with the 75th commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan today in honor of the struggle and sacrifices of Filipino and American soldiers who fought the Japanese Imperial Army in Bataan at the start of World War II in 1942. ERNIE PEÑAREDONDO
PILAR, Bataan, Philippines – The historic Mount Samat National Shrine of Valor in this town will be converted into a tourism enterprise zone, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) announced yesterday.
The declaration of the conversion of the historic site coincides with the 75th commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan today in honor of the struggle and sacrifices of Filipino and American soldiers who fought the Japanese Imperial Army in Bataan at the start of World War II in 1942.
Bataan Governor Albert Raymond Garcia said yesterday almost P3 billion was allocated for the integrated ecotourism development plan for the Mount Samat Shrine Tourism Enterprise Zone, a flagship project of TIEZA under the Department of Tourism.
Garcia said the Mount Samat National Shrine is one of five locations in the country chosen as tourism enterprise zones. Under Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009, tourism enterprise zones will be granted financial incentives, infrastructure, power and other support.
The project aims to upgrade existing facilities and to develop 170 hectares out of the total land area of 1,600 hectares as a tourism enterprise zone where investors are entitled to non-fiscal and integrated local and national tax incentives.
Christina Banzon Enriquez, Bataan provincial tourism officer, said there is a proposal to construct a Swiss model, high-speed and high-capacity cable car worth P600 million and commercial structures with restaurants, bars, retail shops, offices and hotel and residential units to make the area an attractive tourist destination in the country.
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The Bataan Tourism Council Foundation Inc. believes that long-range expansion is a key for an efficient and effective formulation of marketing strategies to draw about two million visitors yearly to the historic Bataan peninsula.