Bidding for the construction of the Bohol Friendship Park in Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran city has been stalled after funds from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) were withheld pending submission of additional documentary requirements.
Tagbilaran City Engineer Pianicita Castolo told DYRD Balita that TIEZA required additional supporting documents from the city to justify the release of an initial P54 million to jump-start the project.
Former TIEZA General Manager Â Mark Lapid, who lost a bid for a senate seat in the May 9, 2016 elections assured city officials for an early release of the initial funding before the 45 day election ban.
However, despite the approval of the required Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Tagbilaran and TIEZA to speed up the download of the initial funding as promised by Atty. Guiller Acido, Officer in Charge of TIEZA, additional documents instead were requested to comply with certain requirements, according to Castolo.
The program of works (POW) of the project was approved by Acido after the TIEZA technical team met with the city technical working group and the private sector representative Bohol Chronicle Associate Editor Peter Dejaresco to thresh out details of the first major tourism project in the city.
Castolo admitted that bidding for the Friendship Park was put off after the City Treasurer refused to certify that funds are available for the project unless the promised initial funding of P54 million will be remitted to the city treasurer’s office.
The Bohol Friendship Park, a centerpiece tourism project of Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap’s administration will showcase the historical significance of the various pacts of friendship between the Spaniards and Boholano chieftains led by Datu Sikatuna.
The Park will also include an amphitheater, an audio visual room, a life size bronze monument of the Blood Compact, a mini botanical park, stilt supported structures along the mangroves that will house souvenir and coffee shops.
The final phase of the project is the construction of a replica of the galleon of Legazpi with a restaurant and a mini library.
Started by the late Bohol Chronicle editor-publisher Atty. Zoilo “Jun” Dejaresco as project chair during the administration of City Mayor Jose Torralba, the original design was done by Architect Eufrasio Araneta and was the basis for the final design by Architect Nino Guidaben.(Chito M. Visarra with reports from Willie Maestrado)