08/13/2010 [ tribune.net.ph ]
At least three private firms have expressed interest in leasing the Navy real estates, Navy chief Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez disclosed yesterday.
“There are a lot that are presenting intention to participate to the proposal (to lease the Navy headquarters. We have received (such interest from) three private firms,” Cortez told Camp Aguinaldo reporters.
In his first State of the Nation Address last month, President Aquino mentioned that a private consortium is willing to shell out $100 million for the relocation of the Navy headquarters plus monthly increments.
“We have to get the most of it from our real estate,” Cortez said.
The Jose Andrada Naval Station, which serves as the headquarters of the Philippine Navy, is occupying 1.13 hectares of prime land along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, adjacent to the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay City.
Aside from the Navy headquarters, also being considered for lease are Navy prime lots in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City and other camps in Cebu and Palawan provinces.
The Navy leadership came up with the idea to lease its properties to help generate funds to finance its eyed modernization.
“For the improvement of the Navy and modernization, they (proposals) are okay to us,” Cortez said.
He said during talks with Navy personnel, the idea was welcomed as “we will be transferring to a better building (that is) more comfortable and modernize our equipment.”
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said one of the options that were broached in the proposal to lease the Navy properties is the direct acquisition of items from the private consortiums instead of paying rentals.
“One option is for them to pay rentals…another option is they will give us just in kind…so they will not be giving us money,” he explained.
Arevalo, though, admitted that the Navy leadership is more keen on receiving items instead of cash.
“The better option now being studied is in kind because that is faster and it might lessen the thoughts of other people, their apprehensions about how the amount will be received,” he said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) leadership had also asked the Army and the Air Force to consider doing the same, and lease off particularly prime lots within their respective camps, especially in Metro Manila.
The AFP even brought up the idea of just establishing a Pentagon-type of military general headquarters where all the major service commands will hold their main offices in Camp Aguinaldo while entirely leasing off its branches’ camps. Mario J. Mallari