MANILA -- The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) on Thursday inked five Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) partnership agreements, granting fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, and tax and duty-free importation of goods and services in such areas.

TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Pocholo Paragas signed and presented a designation certificate to Bucas Grande, a 167.7-hectare area in Socorro, Surigao del Norte, recently tagged as a Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (FTEZ).

Meanwhile, two other properties were named as ordinary TEZs: the Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol and the Aton Land & Leisure in Negros Occidental.

Two Registered Tourism Enterprise (RTEs) were also awarded with certificates of registration: the Magikland Cultural Zone inside the Aton Land & Leisure TEZ, and the Kingdome Stadium inside the Kingdom Global City TEZ in Davao.

TEZ-designated areas are granted fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as six-year income tax holiday, 5-percent gross income taxation, and tax and duty-free importation of goods and services.

But to be marked as TEZ, an applicant must first propose an area that bears historical and cultural significance, environmental beauty and has a strategic access to utilities and transportation.

Among others, the investment must be at least USD5 million and the property a minimum of five or more hectares in land area.

An ordinary TEZ differs from a FTEZ, since it is the DOT and TIEZA that initiate the process of identifying areas with viable tourism potential.

TIEZA administers the FTEZ pending the creation of a joint venture corporation which will manage it, while the TEZ operator manages the TEZ without any participation from TIEZA.

Among the designated FTEZs in the country are Rizal Park in Manila, Mt. Samat in Bataan, South Palms in Bohol, and San Vicente, Palawan, with Bucas Grande as the latest addition.

Meanwhile, other designated TEZs are Ciudad De Victoria in Bulacan, Bravo Gold Resort in Dumaguete, Resorts World in Manila, Queen's Castle in Cebu, and Hijo in Davao. (PNA)