TACLOBAN CITY – The city government of Tacloban is set to acquire Leyte Park Hotel (LPH), one of the most famous landmarks of the city, which was sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) following the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Tacloban City Administrator Anacleto Reri Lacanilao said the Tacloban City council has already given Mayor Alfred Romualdez the authority to negotiate with Land Bank of the Philippines to open a credit line of up to Php 1-billion that will be used for the purchase and rehabilitation of Leyte Park Hotel.

He said Romualdez requested the council for the authority to negotiate since last year but it was only granted in September this year.

Lacanilao said the Department of Finance’s Privatization and Management Office (PMO) has agreed to sell the hotel to the city government for Php 500 million.

“This is an important landmark of Tacloban. We cannot just leave it to rot,” he said.

The hotel temporarily ceased operation in November last year after the Unimasters Conglomeration decided to discontinue running its operations as it is also managing another hotel in the outskirts of the city.

The government leased the 6.13-hectare hotel to Unimasters in 1994, so it could be rehabilitated in time for the 50th anniversary of General Douglas MacArthur’s landing in Leyte Gulf on October 20 that year.

The hotel stands on top of a hill that was formerly a military camp called Camp Bumpus in honor of American Army Officer, 1LT William Bumpus, who, during the height of the Philippine-American War, was a lone survivor of the famous Balangiga massacre in Eastern Samar.

At the height of the Marcos administration, former first lady Imelda Marcos established LPH in 1979 as a prime hotel and convention center in Eastern Visayas. The hotel, which offers a panoramic view of Cancabato Bay and the San Pedro Bay and Mt. Danglay in Samar, has ever since been a favorite venue for social gatherings, meetings and conventions. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail September 26-October 2, 2022 issue)