Published : Tuesday, January 24, 2012 00:00 [ manilatimes.net ]
Written by : Katrina Mennen A. Valdez
The Department of Finance (DOF) has reiterated the need to relocate the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa to the outskirts of Luzon in order to attract investors for the planned privatization of the penitentiary.
John Philip Sevilla, DOF undersecretary told reporters that while the government is not barred by any legal impediment to sell the 447-hectare Bilibid property, it cannot attract investors pending the transfer of the NBP.
“The Bilibid property in Muntinlupa . . . at some point, it’s going to be sold. We already have the legal basis to sell,” Sevilla said, who heads the DOF’s privatization unit.
“Actually, the decision to sell it was made years ago. But [selling the property] is not that easy just like a snap of your fingers,” he added.
He said that while there are no more legal encumbrances on the property, and that the price has not been an issue, the presence of the jail prevents the government to dispose the Bilibid property.
“There’s no problem on the price [of the property]. There are no legal impediments. But you have the jail there. It has to be moved,” Sevilla said.
Last year, the government announced its plans to transfer the NBP from Muntinlupa to another location in any of the provinces in Luzon under the public private partnership (PPP) project.
The New Bilibid Prisons is being managed by the Bureau of Corrections, which is under the regulatory and supervisory powers of the Department of Justice.
He added that besides the Muntinlupa property, there are various real properties of the Armed Forces of the Philippines can be the subject of privatization efforts of the government.
“Definitely there would be AFP properties that would either be leased out or sold. Which ones, we still don’t know but they have hundreds of hectares of property all over the country,” Sevilla said.
“Camp Aguinaldo [in Cubao, Quezon City] is always speculated to be privatized but there are other choices like the Villamor [air base in Pasay City] and other areas,” Sevilla said.