The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) strongly advised the public not to transact any business with the Sobrepeña-led Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJH DevCo) because the latter’s lease contract in the John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) more popularly known as Camp John Hay, has already been rescinded since February, making any transaction forged with CJH DevCo questionable.
The BCDA expressed its concern through a Notice to the Public that read: “It has come to the information of the BCDA that CJH DevCo continues to impose assessments and charges on all activities within Camp John Hay even after the Final Award rescinding its lease.”
It will be recalled that the lease agreement of CJH DevCo had been rescinded by virtue of the Final Award rendered in the arbitration under the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI). The Final Award was also confirmed by Branch 6 of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio.
As a result of the rescission of the lease agreement, CJH DevCo has been divested of its authority to manage and administer the John Hay Special Economic Zone.
The Notice to the Public went on to read: “The public is hereby cautioned against signing any contract and/or making any payment to CJH DevCo, its officers or employees for the purpose of or in connection with the use of Camp John Hay or any of its facilities after the 11 February 2015 rescission of the Camp John Hay Lease such as but not limited to: special assessments, project assessments, common usage services assessments (CUSA), transfer fees, rental fees and the like.”
Last June, no less than the Former Special 5th Division of the Court of Appeals, through a resolution, ordered that: “in the interim, CJH Development Corporation shall not enter into any new contracts with 3rd parties and perform any action that would contravene the tenor of the arbitral award.”
The Notice also disclosed that “CJH DevCo has admitted as much in its letter dated 10 June 2015 informing its sublessees that it had changed its status to a VAT Registered Enterprise because the ‘rescission of the lease contract between BCDA and CJHDevCo as ordered in the Final Award.”
With the rescission of the lease agreement, CJH DevCo can no longer avail of the tax incentives offered by the John Hay Special Economic Zone. This has led CJH DevCo to change its status to a VAT Registered Enterprise.
At present CJH DevCo has no authority to operate in the JHSEZ because there is no longer an existing contract between BCDA and CJH DevCo and that CJH DevCo has not been issued a permit by the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC).
It will be recalled that last February, the Arbitral Tribunal of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. came out with its Final Award that ordered CJH DevCo to vacate Camp John Hay and promptly deliver the leased property, inclusive of all new constructions and permanent improvements to the BCDA. The Final Award also ordered the BCDA to return to CJH DevCo the amount of P1.42B which the CJH DevCo paid to the BCDA as lease payments.
Last April, the Baguio Regional Trial Court issued a Court Order confirming the Final Award without any conditions. The confirmation of the Final Award by the Court made it unconditional, executory and non-appealable.
The BCDA has put the P1.42B in escrow as agreed with CJH DevCo during the February 2015 hearing. The CJH DevCo, pursuant to the ruling of the Former Special 5th Division of the Court of Appeals, has filed a petition with the Commission on Audit (COA) for the release of the P1.4B.
For further inquiries, the public is advised to get in touch with the following help desks:
John Hay Management Corporation One-Stop Action Center (OSAC)
John Hay Special Economic Zone, Baguio City
(074) 423-5403, (074) 422-1963, Mobile No.: 0928-501-8717
BCDA Help Desk
BCDA Corporate Office, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila
Mobile No.: 0977-348-3025
email at firstname.lastname@example.org