by Julito G. Rada
[ manilastandardtoday.com ] January 11, 2012
STATE-RUN Bases Conversion and Development Authority said Camp John Hay Development Corp. cannot evade its financial obligations upon learning that it had served notice to “rescind” the agreement it signed with the government agency in 2008.
“The delinquent lessee of Camp John Hay cannot go scot-free from paying its P3.024 billion arrears,” Dean Santiago, BCDA vice president for business development, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This is an ill-disguised ploy,” Santiago said, adding that “this is another attempt at evading payment by unilaterally rescinding their contractual obligations to the Philippine government after benefiting from the John Hay property.”
Santiago said “the lessee reportedly has grossed double-digit figures in billions of pesos. It must be asked by the public where the money went.”
He said the Sobrepena-led lessee has been delinquent in paying its arrears
beginning 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 which was granted on Aug. 5, 1999.
In 2000, CJHDevco asked for a restructuring agreement for failure to pay its lease obligations. It was signed in July 14, 2000.
Santiago noted that in 2003, CJHDevco asked for another restructuring, and the agreement was signed on July 18 that year.
“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,” he said.
“The major issues are all against CJHDevco--notably, the non-payment of the arrears that have ballooned to P3.024 billion. In contrast, the issue raised by the lessee on the non-operation of the One-Stop Action Center comes across as a convenient excuse to escape their debt obligation and to ‘turn the tables’ against BCDA,” Santiago said.