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BCDA wants more military camps converted, developed

[ ] August 23, 2011

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is seeking a fresh mandate to convert and develop more base lands, including Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecjia and Sangley Point in Cavite, its chairman Felicito Payumo said.

Expanding the list of bases that the BCDA could hold under its wings is in line with government plans to put up a centralized Pentagon-like facility in Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo.

Once this happens, other facilities housing the military could then be handled by BCDA.

Payumo is also seeking a "development role" where its projects generate cash flow for the government and are viable when privatized.

"I don’t want to be remembered as liquidator or terminator. I want to leave something behind. BCDA can be a catalyst of change," Payumo said.

Payumo said BCDA is pursuing a monorail project which would jumpstart the transfer of the international gateway to Clark, another former military camp.

Immediately, Payumo is seeking a proclamation for the disposition of a 10-hectare property called the consular areas owned by the government in Fort Bonifacio.

Payumo said the area is strategic to all other developments in Bonifacio. The property is adjacent to the Jusmag property bagged by Megaworld Corp.

Payumo said the 10-hectare area is the subject of a monetary claim by the US government.

"We want to develop other areas. Now, Fort Magsaysay is not included but we can ask President Aquino to issue an (executive order)," said Payumo.

There are only three remaining prime lots that the BCDA is poised to dispose of within a year or two, all located within Fort Bonifacio: the 10-hectare consular area; the 22-hectare NOVAI lot which is still the subject of litigation, and the 33-hectare Ascom, a property that has attracted a P36 billion bid from SM for development into a mixed-use property.

"Aside from these properties, there are only a few smaller properties in Fort Bonifacio," he said.

Payumo said the monorail system hopefully would replicate the success of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway which the BCDA implemented and turned over as a concession operation to the private sector.

Payumo said the rail is envisioned to link Metro Rail Transit and the Light Rail Transit traversing the entire length of Taft Avenue from Baclaran in ParaƱaque City to Monumento in Caloocan City, and the Philippine National Railways line that cuts across Metro Manila towards the Southern Luzon regions.

He said the elevated monorail would possibly be followed by the relocation of the country’s international gateway to the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga.

The BCDA was created by virtue of Republic Act 7227, otherwise known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992.

The BCDA is responsible for accelerating the conversion of the Clark and Subic military reservations and their extensions – John Hay Station, Wallace Air Station, and O’ Donnell transmitter station, even as it continues to raise funds from the sale of portions of Metro Manila military camps.

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