Tourism Act of 2009: Tourism Enterprise Zones (TEZ)

This is Part 5/8 of the discussion on Republic Act No. 9593, also known as The Tourism Act of 2009. Link to other parts found below.

The TIEZA shall designate TEZs, upon the recommendation of any LGU or private entity, or through joint ventures between the public and the private sectors. Such designation shall be subject to the provisions of this law and to minimum requirements which the TIEZA shall subsequently promulgate. Any geographic area may be designated as a TEZ, provided it has the following characteristics:

  1. The area is capable of being defined into one contiguous territory.
  2. It has historical and cultural significance, environmental beauty, or existing or potential integrated leisure facilities within its bounds or within reasonable distances from it.
  3. It has, or it may have, strategic access through transportation infrastructure, and reasonable connection with utilities infrastructure systems.
  4. It is sufficient in size, such that it may be further utilized for bringing in new investments in tourism establishments and services.
  5. It is in a strategic location such as to catalyze the socio-economic development of neighboring communities.

Each application for designation as a TEZ shall be accompanied by a Development Plan which shall, consistent with principles of economic, cultural and environmentally sustainable development, specifically identify certain factors.

Operation of TEZs. – The TEZ proponent shall establish a corporate entity, to be known as the TEZ Operator, which shall administer the TEZ and supervise its activities. The designation of a TEZ does not vest ownership of the resources therein upon the TEZ Operator. Where the TEZ Operator possesses rights to land or other resources within the TEZ, the TEZ Operator shall be entitled to exercise such rights as allowed by existing laws in a manner consistent with the duly-approved development plan as provided above.

Where rights to land and other resources within the TEZ are vested in a private third party, the TEZ Operator shall encourage the private third party to participate in policymaking, planning and program development and implementation by encouraging its registration as a tourism enterprise where appropriate, and through the judicious administration of incentives and provision of services.

Except as herein provided, the LGUs which comprise, overlap, embrace or include a TEZ in their territorial jurisdictions shall retain their basic autonomy and identity in accordance with the Local Government Code.

The government shall encourage, facilitate and provide incentives for private sector participation in the construction and operation of public utilities and infrastructure in the TEZs using any of the schemes allowed under the Build-Operate-and-Transfer Law (Republic Act No. 6957).

Administration of TEZ. – Each TEZ shall be administered and supervised by a TEZ Operator. A TEZ Operator shall be an entity duly incorporated under the Corporation Code
and other relevant laws, unless the TEZ Operator is a LGU or any other instrumentality of the government in the pursuit of their mandates, where capital may be provided by LGUs, and/or private entities.

Civil Dispute Resolution. – The TIEZA shall establish a civil dispute mediation office to effectively and efficiently resolve civil disputes concerning tourism enterprises and/or tourism-related issues within a TEZ where at least one (1) of the parties to the dispute was residing in the TEZ at the time the dispute arose, and is still residing within the TEl at the time the complaint is filed with the mediation office. No civil dispute may be filed in court without having undergone mediation proceedings as provided under this section except in extraordinary cases where a party may suffer irreparable damage. The TIEZA shall charge reasonable fees for civil dispute mediation. This provision is without prejudice to the application of the rules pertaining to Katarungang Pambarangay with respect to other matters.

Labor Dispute Resolution. – To resolve disputes between workers and employers for any violation of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, the TIEZA shall, in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), establish a labor dispute resolution office to mediate between workers and employers.

Back to:
+ Main Primer: Tourism Act of 2009 (RA 9593)
+ The Department of Tourism (DOT)
+ Shared Responsibilities of National and Local Governments
+ Tourism Promotions Board (TBP) and the Tourism Promotions Fund
+ Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
+ Incentives
+ Increased Tourist Access
+ Full text of R.A. 9593

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