By Mark D. Francisco, Correspondent

TIEZA sets Ozamiz park project

Posted on July 23, 2015

OZAMIZ CITY -- The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) is constructing an eco-tourism park here as part of the plan to develop Misamis Occidental province into a tourism conduit between the Northern Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula regions.

TIEZA General Manager Mark T. Lapid, in an interview on the sidelines of the city’s recent 67th Charter Day celebration, said the park already has an initial allocation of P25 million and will be built in phases.

It will have facilities for kayaking, trekking, camping, cruising, and diving.

Misamis Occidental, in Northern Mindanao, borders the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.

Mr. Lapid said the project is timed with the ongoing construction of the Panguil Bay Bridge and the P600-million expansion of Labo Airport.

The Panguil Bay Bridge, whose completion by 2018 is a target, will link Tubod in Lanao del Norte and Tangub City, which is on the southern boundary of Ozamiz.

On the other hand, the airport, also known as Ozamiz City Airport or Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Airport, is expected to have a new 12-hectare terminal by the last quarter of 2016, according to Mayor Reynaldo O. Parojinog, Sr.

Mr. Parojinog said the expanded Labo Airport, currently classified as a community airport and the only one in Misamis Occidental, is designed to accommodate international flights in the future.

The airport property covers 40 hectares, which could be utilized for runways and navigational facilities for international flights.

Mr. Lapid said TIEZA is also expecting the development of what he called “integrated resorts” by private investors within the next five years.

“In an integrated resort, there will be a high-end shopping mall, a hotel, a casino, a golf course, amusement rides and convention halls, all in one roof. We expect that to be the sunshine industry here in the next half-decade or so,” Mr. Lapid said.

The mayor also reported that Robinsons Land Corp. is undertaking a study for the construction of a Robinsons Mall and a hotel in the city by 2016.

“We will be granting a seven-year tax holiday to Robinsons once that will be realized,” Mr. Parojinog said.

With all these developments, said Mr. Lapid, more investors will be attracted to Ozamiz City, which served as the Northern Mindanao regional seat of government during the Spanish colonial period.

When the Americans took over, Cagayan de Oro City was developed as the new economic hub.