BAUKO, Mountain Province – Mayor Abraham B. Akilit expressed his disappointment over the alleged failure of the State-run Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) to implement the long overdue rehabilitation of the historic Mount Data hotel that can contribute to the growth of the town’s tourism industry.
He claimed that the only major lodging facility in the locality has not been operational for quite some time because of the reported programmed rehabilitation and upgrading of the facility but the TIEZA administration has not yet completed the project to improve the state of tourism-oriented facilities, especially the ones owned by the government.
“We completed the documents required by the TIEZA from us but we are wondering why there are other requirements being asked by the agency from the local government,” Akilit stressed.
The mayor added the problem with the requirements being requested is that these come batches and not as a whole which now casts doubt among the stakeholders on the seriousness of TIEZA to truly pursue the proposed rehabilitation of the Mount Data hotel.
According to him, the potentials of the facility should be maximized for visitors to enjoy the town’s cool climate since it is situated at the top of the Mount Data plateau where the weather is colder than the coldest temperature in Baguio City, instead of being left to unused due to the delayed improvements.
He revealed that the Bauko municipal government will comply with the piecemeal requirements being requested from them by the TIEZA to compel the agency to implement the proposed rehabilitation and upgrading of the hotel so it can start accepting visitors wanting to spend their days in the locality before proceeding to other destinations not only in the province but also in other neighboring provinces in the region.
Under the proposed set up, the management and operations of the hotel will be under the supervision of the State-run Mount Data State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) while the outdoor and recreational facilities and the peace museum will be administered by the Bauko municipal government.
The Mount Data hotel hosted the historic ‘sipat’ between former President Corazon C. Aquino and the late Fr. Contrado Balweg of the Cordillera Bodong Administration – Cordillera Peoples Liberation (CBA-CPLA) was sealed on September 13, 1986.
The provincial government operated the Mount Data hotel from 2006 to 2016 before it was forced to return the hotel’s management to the TIEZA before the lapse of the 10-year lease agreement due to losses.
The 22-room hotel was constructed by the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) to be one of the government’s key lodging facilities for tourists visiting the scenic tourist destinations in the province and it was erected strategically to cater to the demand of nature-lovers.