BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan is proposing that the local government will be a party to whatever future contracts that will be signed between the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the private developer for the continuous development of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) to avoid the problems that the city is experiencing relative to the difficulty In collecting its share from the annual lease rentals of the former American rest and recreation center.
The local chief executive pointed out that the local government was the real losing party in the on-going conflict between BCDA and the Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) which resulted to the mutual restitution of the supposed 50-year lease agreement.
“We should assert that the local government will be a party to whatever future agreements that will signed between the BCDA and whoever will be the private developer of the property to guarantee that the city’s share from the lease rentals will be directly remitted to the local coffers to avoid future problems that might affect the downloading of the city’s due share,” Domogan stressed.
He claimed that irregardless of what company will be the developer of the JHSEZ, it must be stipulated in the contract that the city’s due share from the lease rentals will be directly remitted to the local coffers and will not be affected by whatever conflicts that will arise between the BCDA and the developer in the future.
It can be recalled that in October 1996, BCDA entered into an agreement with Fil-Estate Penta Capital consortium for the development of the 247-hectare JHSEZ and its subsequent conversion into a world-class multi-use tourism complex wherein the local government will be entitled to 25 percent from the annual lease rentals that will be paid by the developer to the BCDA.
However, he explained that the problem was that the developer will first pay to BCDA the annual lease rentals and the BCDA will subsequently release to the local government its due share, thus the serious delay in the release of the city’s share through the past several years.
Worst, Domogan added that when the relationship of BCDA and the developer was strained during the past administration, the local government never received its share from the annual lease rentals which should have served as one of the primary source of internally generated resources of the city to fund the implementation of more development projects and improve the delivery of basic services to the people.
He emphasized that the local government will not interfere with whatever plan of the BCDA whether to renegotiate the mutually prostituted contract between BCDA and CJHDevCo or bid out the JHSEZ to allow another developer to introduce the desired development considering that only 23 percent of the supposed developable area of the zone was improved.
BCDA acquired the former United States military bases in the different parts of the country and subjected the same to privatization with the income to be derived from such deals will be used for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to become at par with the armed forces of other countries in the Southeast Asian region.
By Dexter A. See