The city government will be preparing the development plan of the city-owned Asin hot spring complex development plan in time for the expiration of the short-term contract of the current lessee to pave the way for the improvement of the existing facilities and the operation of the complex.
The 3-year contract of the company that is currently handling the operation of the Asin hot spring complex will expire on May 31, 2022 and thus, the city government is considering offering it to public-private partnership or to operate it itself.
City Budget Officer Leticia O. Clemente claimed that the magnitude of development needed for the city-owned property to make it profitable will determine how to proceed with the future operation of the facility.
The City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and the city’s Local Finance Committee were tasked to prepare the development plan for this city-owned property to be made available prior to the expiration of the city government’s contract with the existing operator to ensure the smooth transition in the turnover of the facility to the city upon the expiration of the lease contract.
However, Clemente stipulated that if the magnitude of development needed for the facility will be significant, it will be best for the city to offer the same through the public-private partnership scheme to allow the implementation of more improvements in the facility.
According to her, the city government does not have the funds to implement significant improvements in the hot spring complex at the moment as funds are being used for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) mitigation and prevention measures.
The Asin hot spring complex in Tuba, Benguet is one of the most frequented tourist destinations outside the city because of the therapeutic hot springs.
In 2019, the city government offered the operation of this facility for a short-term lease to an interested company to operate for profit while awaiting for the decision of city officials on final plans.
City General Services Officer Eugene Buyucan disclosed that the current operator was already notified on the impending expiration of its lease contract with the city by May 31, 2022 and that the city government is awaiting the action of the lessee on the matter while efforts are being worked out on how to proceed with the continuous operation of the facility which is an important assets of the city.