BAGUIO CITY – The outgoing leadership of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and it subsidiary the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) is confident that the Duterte administration will pursue the government’s claim to recover the State’s prime property in the John Hay Economic Zone (JHSEZ) from the Sobrepeña-owned Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo).
BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova and JHMC president Jaime Eloise M. Agbayani jointly expressed their confidence that the new administration will pursue the government’s claim to get back the JHSEZ from the private developer in order to work out future projects that will attract more investors that will generate more jobs and sources of livelihood for local residents.
“We are looking forward that President Duterte will continue the current administration’s battle against CJHDevCo in order for the government to maximize the development potentials of the economic zone for the benefit of robust economic growth not only to the city but also the region as a whole,” Casanova stressed.
It can be recalled that the long-term lease agreement between BCDA and the developer had been mutually restituted by both parties pursuant to the arbitral case before the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center and that such mutual restitution was subsequently confirmed by the city’s Regional Trial court (RTC) Branch 6.
Casanova accused CJHDevCo of continuously holding on to the property and still profiting from the operations of the CJH Manor Hotel and the Forest Lodge on top of the rentals that its sub-lessees had paid to the developer in full for their possession of the improvements inside the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) until 2046.
“BCDA remains firm in its resolve to defend and protect public interest. We shall continue the fight to recover government property so it would benefit the many and not unjustly enrich the few,” Casanova added.
For her part, Agbayani said that some locators within the economic zone have already signed lease agreements with the State corporation to guarantee their continued existence in the facility.
According to her, the speedy issuances of permits to locators intending to operate within the economic zone has contributed in attracting investors to operate their respective businesses inside the zone for a longer period of time.
The JHMC official cited applicants for renewal of permits can get their new permits within five minutes while new applicants are able to get their permits within two days depending on the kind of businesses they will establish inside the facility.
In 1997, BCDA awarded the operation, administration and maintenance of the JHSEZ to Fil-Estate Penta Capital pursuant to a lease agreement for the conversion of the former American rest and recreation center into a world-class tourism facility promising more jobs and sources of livelihood for the people and the robust economic growth of the city./Dexter A. See