Camp John Hay is not closing, locators assured
MANILA, Philippines – To pacify locators’ concerns over the fate of Camp John Hay in Baguio City, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) assured them that it is not closing the property and shutting down the businesses there.
On February 13, the members of an arbitration committee unanimously ordered CJH Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) to vacate Camp John Hay.
BCDA is the government agency mandated to develop Camp John Hay, a former US facility.
An arbiter also said CJHDevCo should pay BCDA the P2.4-billion ($54.25-million) obligation that it owed the state run firm in 2008.
As the summer peak season is approaching, several investors aired concerns over the possibility of having their businesses disrupted because of the ongoing issue between the government and CJHDevCo.
BCDA said, without disclosing full details, that it is laying down options for locators/investors in Camp John Hay.
The state-run firm is also now in talks with utility service providers to ensure businesses would go as usual.
The BCDA also asked investors to provide them a record of their lease contracts with CJHDEvCo to start an inventory and determine how to proceed accordingly.
“If there will be any disruption, it will definitely not come from us,” said Atty. Michelle Regala-Niebres, John Hay Management Corporation vice president and chief operating officer.
While CJHDevCo’s original agreement was only for a 25-year lease, it had sold 50-year leases to its investors, BCDA said.
“We can’t just turn our backs on you. We’re looking for ways to make you whole in the same way that we ourselves are making ourselves whole,” BCDA head of legal services Atty. Peter Paul Andrew Flores told investors in a meeting on February 20.
On February 13, Baguio officials said the city government stands to lose development funds if CJHDevCo) returns Camp John Hay to BCDA, as ordered by an arbitration tribunal.
The city will have nothing to collect from its rightful share of rentals in the former US recreational facility if the ruling made by the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Incorporated (PDRCI) becomes executory, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said on February 13.
The Baguio City government is entitled to a 25% share from the lease-rentals of CJHDevCo which, Domogan said, is needed to fund local projects that cannot be accommodated in its P412-million ($9.31 million) Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). – Rappler.com
US$1 = P44.24