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BAUKO, Mountain Province – The municipal government wants to manage and operate the newly repurchased Mount Data hotel as part of a local economic enterprise that will serve as one of the town’s income generating endeavor.
Mayor Abraham B. Akilit stated that the repair of portions of the historic Mount Data Hotel was already completed by the contractor but it seems that the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) is inclined to subject the same to public bidding on the management and operation of the facility.
However, he disclosed that the municipal government will be submitting a proposal to TIEZA stating among others the advantage of the hotel being managed by the local government to provide the municipality with added source of income to be used for the implementation of its priority development projects that are not funded by concerned government agencies.
Earlier, the TIEZA earmarked some P36 million for the repair and improvement of the historic Mount Data hotel that started in August last year and was supposed to have been completed last March but the same was extended to May due to certain delays caused by the implementation of the various levels of community quarantine in the different parts of the country purposely to contain the rapid spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Mayor Akilit pointed out that local governments are actually in the best position to oversee the management and operation of such facilities that are situated in their respective areas of jurisdiction that is why the municipal government is persistent in requesting TIEZA to allow the local government to manage the Mount Data Hotel in the spirit of helping low class local governments to have sources of income for their own development projects.
According to him, the municipal government has its own plans on how to manage and operate the Mount Data Hotel and that TIEZA should give a chance to the local government to do so as whatever the lapses that had been committed by the previous management will not happen as there were already studies that had been conducted for the purpose of supporting the proposal for TIEZA to turn over the management and operation of the hotel to Bauko.
From 2006 to 2016, the provincial government had been managing the Mount Data hotel pursuant to a memorandum of agreement that was entered into between TIEZA and the local government.
In 2016, the provincial government eventually returned to the TIEZA the management and operation of the hotel because the same as an alleged losing venture.
Subsequently, TIEZA closed the operation of the hotel to allow the implementation of the proposed repair and improvement but the release of the funds for the said purpose was delayed that caused the establishment not to be operational for over 6 years now.
Akilit is keeping his fingers crossed that TIEZA will accept the local government’s proposal to manage and operate the hotel as local experts in the industry could be tapped to assist in the roll out of the economic enterprise instead of the same being given to Manila-based groups that are not aware of the culture and traditions of the Cordillerans. By HENT