ABS-CBN unit seeks tax incentives for KidZania

Posted at 02/26/14 8:35 PM

KidZania Manila theme park: A nation where kids rule

MANILA – ABS-CBN Corp. subsidiary Play Innovations Inc. is seeking tax incentives for its proposed education-entertainment center KidZania.

Play Innovations president and chief executive Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas said the company is seeking incentives, including income tax holiday and duty-free importation of capital equipment, under a pioneer status from the Board of Investments (BOI).

“We are in process of finalizing the business plan, BOI incentive is not really an easy thing to get,” Arenas said.

The P1 billion “edutainment” facility is franchised by Play Innovations and is set to open at the Bonifacio Global City by the first quarter of 2015.

Pangilinan-Arenas said the facility will initially operate at one shift per day on weekdays and two shifts per day on weekends.

Each shift lasts about five hours and can accommodate 1,500 children aged four to 14.

At the kid-sized city, children can explore over 100 role-playing activities depending on their interests.

They can run the city as pilots, police officers, chefs, news anchors, firemen, doctors or bankers, among others.

The 9,000-square-meter facility expects to welcome 600,000 visitors annually when it opens in 2015.

KidZania is currently present in 15 locations in 12 countries.

KidZania Manila has also entered into a sponsorship agreement with budget airline Cebu Pacific to bring aviation-themed activities in a real airplane to the facility.

Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog said children can check in at the arrival counter of KidZania International Airport and be welcomed by a Cebu Pacific aircraft.

They can role-play as pilots, cabin crew or passengers and be taught about the cockpit and plane control panels using state-of-the-art flight simulators.

"Cebu Pacific has always believed in the importance of education and in this case, fun in education. After all, through travel, we gain new insights and our lives are enriched by the people we meet. This is why we are very excited about our newest partner," Iyog said.

Pangilinan-Arenas said aside from Cebu Pacific, Play Innovations is also talking to about a hundred companies for marketing partnerships.

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