BAGUIO CITY – The city council summoned officials of the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Sobrepeña-owned Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) to appear before the local legislative body to clarify various issues and concerns relative to the welfare of the city government and the public during its special session called for the purpose on June 16, 2015.
Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. made an oral manifestation before the council considering the urgency of the matter where concerned BCDA and CJHDevCo officials must be compelled to appear before the council members and for them to answer queries of the people in relation to issues relative to the state of development inside the former American military base.
The council wants to be appraised on the status of the segregation of the 14 barangays within the 686-hectare Camp John Hay (CJH) reservation which was part of the19 conditions imposed by the city government prior to the development of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) considering that the segregation has been stalled due to the dispute between the BCDA and the developer.
Furthermore, the council also wants to be clarified on the upcoming eviction of the Country Club Village Elementary School from its present site and why the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC), a BCDA subsidiary, continues to stop the Department of Education and the city government from introducing developments in the school to guarantee the safety and security of the growing number of pupil population, especially for the coming schoolyear.
Yangot also cited the city government wants to be clarified on the status of the labor force numbering to around 500 who will be displaced by the expected takeover of BCDA to the facilities being operated by the developer considering that he was able to uncover that the JHMC already started hiring individuals who will take the place of the CJHDevCo employees once it will takeover the camp in due time.
According to him, most of the employees who will be displaced are local residents that is why there is a need to ensure that their tenure will not be interrupted for them to be able to continue earning a living for their families.
Lastly, the council wants to be clarified on how it will be able to get its 25 percent share from the lease rentals that were paid by the developer to the BCDA considering that the BCDA has been boasting that it was able to remit to the city government some P250 million as share but the same is obviously less than the P360 million that it was supposed to receive from the BCDA pursuant to the P1.42 billion that it was supposed to return to the developer representing accumulated lease rentals paid since 1996.
At the same time, the local legislative body expressed disappointment over the blatant refusal of BCDA and JHMC officials to appear before the city council in previous invitations as if they are running away from their responsibility and obligation to the city government, thus, the latest invitation will test the sincerity of BCDA officials in their previous pronouncements that they are fighting for the interest of the city government when they fought for the eviction of the developer that was not able to pay its obligations to the State over the past several years while taking advantage of the facilities of the former American military base. By Dexter A. See