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Palace key to John Hay solution

Saturday, 28 April, 2012 Written by Dexter A. See
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BAGUIO CITY— Camp John Hay Development Corp. has seen four administrations in Malacañang Palace and it is bent under the present leadership on seeking an end to the controversy stalling the growth of the former American rest and recreation center into an investment hub, a key official said.

Alfredo Yñiguez, CJHDevco executive vice president and chief operating officer, said the company had no plans of abandoning their contract with Bases Conversion and Development Authority over the required 18 hectares of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone to provide a tourist destination along with more condominium units, country and log homes for high-end clients.

“We had been through four Presidents, six changes in the BCDA administration and four changes in the local government, thus, we will not just leave and abandon our investments,” he told Manila Standard.

Yñiguez said BCDA officials would have to face the developer before the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center to iron out a settlement.

“CJHDevco has already infused a little over P5 billion in investments and the put up of added infrastructure inside John Hay over the past 16 years,” he said, noting that P1.44 billion has been paid BCDA representing partial payments of its lease rentals prescribed in the original and revised lease agreements.

“Since we were awarded the right to develop John Hay in 1996, BCDA had already committed breaches in our contract, particularly the non-delivery of 32 hectares developable area and the delays in the issuance of the Environmental Compliance Certificate and the demolition of structures within the leased area among others,” Yñiguez said, citing antecedents to the signing of the first revised memorandum of agreement in 2000.

He said BCDA was only able to deliver 4.5 hectares of the 18 hectares absent the required permits and clearances from government agencies as committed by the BCDA.

“From 2007 to 2011, we were not able to implement our P5 billion investments to build more housing units and commercial town centers within the developable area which translated to over P11.6 billion in supposed income for our company,” Yñiguez said.

He said coming to the negotiating table would also BCDA a chance to clear any impediment for the City government to get its 25 percent share from lease rentals paid by the developer to the authority.

(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/April/28)

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