THE Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) revealed that its big-ticket projects in Baguio City remain stalled indefinitely due to a lack of funding.
TIEZA chief operating officer Mark Lapid said that the projects in question are stalled but not canceled, and that the TIEZA would continue to provide assistance for the projects once funding is acquired.
The projects in question include P400 million for the rehabilitation and improvement of Baguio City’s Burnham Park, and the P2.9 billion sewerage treatment plant (STP) eyed by the city.
According to Lapid, the TIEZA is in the process of filing for loans to finance its projects, as its normal source of revenues are coming up short.
Supposedly, with the travel of people being scarce under the pandemic, TIEZA was unable to receive travel taxes, the agency’s main source of funds.
“There is no money. The funds of TIEZA have been used for the pandemic response of the government at the height of the (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” Lapid said.
The STP project, expected to be implemented throughout 2022 to 2026, is estimated to only start turning a profit by 2038, with the initial feasibility study suggesting that the STP will have to be subsidized until then.
The study also recommends a reform in the city’s sanitation tariffs, increasing the current rates by 70 percent three times every five years starting in 2023. However, said tariffs cannot be implemented without the approval of an ordinance passed by the city council.