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BCDA: CJHDevco devises way to evade payment

[ ] January 11, 2012

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said Camp John Hay Development Corp. (CJHDevco) cannot escape from paying its P3.024 billion arrears.

This was the reaction of Dean Santiago, vice president for business development of the BCDA, after learning that CJHDevco served notice to "rescind" the restructured memorandum of agreement (RMOA) between the BCDA and CJHDevco signed on July 1, 2008.

"This is an ill-disguised ploy," Santiago pointed out, adding, "this is another attempt at evading payment by unilaterally rescinding their contractual obligations to the Philippine Government after benefiting from the John Hay property." He also pointed out that "the lessee reportedly has grossed double-digit figures in billions of pesos. It must be asked by the public where the money went."

BCDA officials said the lessee cannot escape its obligation to pay its mounting debts.

The Sobrepena-led lessee has been delinquent in paying its arrears since the third year of the memorandum of agreement. The 25-year lease agreement between BCDA and CJHDevco was signed in 1996. In 1999, there was a request for the deferment of payments for 1997 and 1998. This was granted on August 5, 1999.

In 2000, CJHDevco asked for a restructuring agreement for failure to pay its lease obligations. It was signed in July 14, 2000.

Again in year 2003, CJHDevco asked for another restructuring, and the agreement was signed on July 18, 2003. In 2008, another restructuring agreement was signed, making it the third. All in all, CJHDevco requested and was granted one deferment and three restructuring agreements in a span of 12 years since the start of the original contract in 1996. CJHDevco’s arrears have ballooned to P3.024 billion.

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