BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and newly-installed John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) president Allan Garcia agreed to work closely together in solving the current impasse related to the development of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) to spur economic growth in the city as earlier projected by the State-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
Garcia paid a courtesy call to Mayor Domogan Tuesday and extensively discussed the role of the local government and the JHMC to make things work for the speedy resolution of the impasse in the economic zone to maximize its potentials as a major economic driver in Northern Luzon.
The new JHMC president assured the mayor that he keeps an open mind in dealing with all the pending issues relative to the development of the economic zone to be able to find the right solutions that will allow the delayed development to push through under the present administration.
“We are happy that the new JHMC leadership is output-oriented which is also our line of thinking for the John Hay economic zone. We need to work closely together to find the appropriate solutions to the existing problems that were left behind by the previous administration so that the desired development in the zone will be realized,” Domogan stressed.
Among the existing problems that were identified by the two officials which must be addressed the soonest include the segregation of the remaining 13 barangays within the Camp John Hay watershed reservation, the finalization of the survey of the barangays that will be segregated, the compliance by both the developer and the BCDA to the 19 conditions imposed by the local government for the development of the former American rest and recreation area and issues related to the cutting of trees for development projects within the jursidction of BCDA.
He claimed the local government had always been receptive to the programs and projects being worked out by the previous administrations on how to make the development of the economic zone work out but the problems worsened instead of being settled by the concerned parties of the previous administration that resulted in the filing of the arbitration case that warranted the mutual restitution of the lease agreement between the BCDA and the Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo).
Domogan emphasized the local government should get its share from the lease of the former American rest and recreation center as the developer had practically used the economic zone for two decades now and the city has not yet actually gotten its share from the lease rentals because the agreement had been subjected to revisions over the past twenty years.
He expressed support to the thrust of the present BCDA and JHMC administrations for the identification of appropriate solutions to the current impasse on the development of the declared economic zone so that the city will be able to directly get its share from the agreed lease rentals while the share of BCDA should be given directly to the State corporation managing the operation of the former American military base.
By Dexter A. See