BAGUIO CITY – The State-owned Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) denied the proposal of the local government of Baguio to purchase its 33,606-square meter property near the Baguio Convention Center considering that the offered purchase price is way below the prevailing fair market value of the property in the said area.
In a letter to mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, GSIS officer-in-charge lawyer Nora Malubay-Saludares claimed the current market value of the said GSIS property is P433,517,400.00 as of December 9, 2016 which is way above the offered purchase price of the property by the local government which is only P100 million.
Earlier, the local government expressed its interest to purchase the GSIS property which is the subject of Civil Case No. 6935-R pending before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 60 of Baguio City entitled GSIS versus the City government of Baguio et al with an offered amount of P100 million.
The property is located at corner of Government Center Cut-off road or T.M. Kalaw or Hidalgo Streets, barangay Military Cut-off, District of Loakan, Baguio city covered by Transfer Certificate of title (TCT) No. 85292 with approximate area of 33,606 square meters.
“Please be informed that the subject property is classified as GSIS investment property. As such, its disposition is subject to the provisions of our enabling charter, Republic Act No. 8291,”Saludares stated.
Section 50 of the GSIS Charter reads in part as ‘the GSIS may sell its acquired assets in accordance with existing Commission on Audit rules and regulations for an amount not lower than the current market value of the property.”
The GSIS official underscored that being an investment property and following the aforesaid provision of its Charter, the State insurance corporation could not accept the offer of the local government to purchase the said property because it is not in accordance with the prevailing market value of the property.
It will be recalled that the local government also purchased the Baguio Convention Center and an additional 1 hectare within its vicinity from the GSIS in the amount of more than P316 million sometime in 2012 for the city to have its own premier convention facility for us of government and private sponsored events.
The Baguio Convention Center was constructed by the Ministry of Human Settlements under former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd district Rep. Imelda R. Marcos in the late 1970s to serve as the venue for the world chess championship match between Russians Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi.
Mayor Domogan said there is a need for GSIS to first consolidate its titles over the said property because the local government cannot locate the 1 hectare portion of the property that is included in the title that was issued to the local government covering the convention center building footprint and the corresponding lot, thus, the need to consolidate all the titles in the area and segregate the area that was earlier purchased by the local government for the issuance of the appropriate title and the subsequent issuance to GSIS of the remaining portions of the property. /By Dexter A. See