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Payumo: BCDA exploring options on John Hay row

by Julito G. Rada
[ ] January 19, 2012

STATE-RUN Bases Conversion and Development Authority vowed to explore all options to protect the government’s interest in the Camp John Hay dispute.

BCDA chairman Felicito Payumo said the agency would prioritize collections of all overdue accounts from lessee Camp John Hay Development Corp. amid legal moves being taken by the private developer.

Payumo said CJHDevco filed an arbitration case for P14.4 billion in damages arising from its failed lease contract, which he said was a “desperate act” of the SobrepeƱa-led firm.

“So, all of a sudden it is BCDA that will now have to pay when as late as July 1, 2008, CJHDevco recognized its obligations which have now reached P3.024 billion,” Payumo said in a statement Wednesday.

Payumo said he had been treating the dispute with CJHDevco with fairness. He said the rescission of the 2008 restructured memorandum of agreement was “provocative and complicated matters.”

“There are no questions about the amount of the arrears. The fact that CJHDevco signed a restructured memorandum of agreement on July 1, 2008 was an acknowledgment of its obligations,” he said.

Payumo also said the ruling of the Supreme Court revoking the tax privileges in the John Hay Special Economic Zone in 2003 was a non-issue, after Congress restored the tax incentives to the locators of the economic zone in 2007.

“That was the reason why a deferment of payments had been granted and three restructurings had been done,” he said.

He also called the One-Stop Action Center row an “old issue which CJHDevco has been trying to resurrect as an excuse to evade payments.”

“To put matters in perspective, the OSAC has been operational. Otherwise, it would not have been able to issue 22 building permits in 2009, 28 in 2010 and eight in the first quarter of 2011. A total of 60 locators have been granted permits to operate,” Payumo said.

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