BAGUIO CITY – The management of the Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) admitted it is now losing at least P5 million monthly just to sustain the operations of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) amidst the brewing controversy between the developer had the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development (Authority (BCDA) on how to enforce the arbitral decision of the Makati-based Philippine Dispute Resolution Center (PDRC) on the mutual restitution of the original and revised lease agreements.
Robert John Sobrepeña, CJHDevCo chairman and chief executive officer, said that what the developer is collecting from hotel owners, sub-lessees and residential owners are the so-called management dues which account for at least 50 percent of the company’s expenditures in the operation of the camp.
Prior to the controversy between CJHDevCo and BCDA, he admitted the company was collecting rentals and management dues from owners of the 187 rooms in the Camp John Hay Manor, the 208 rooms in the Forest Lodge and the 150 residential houses and sub-lessees but tenants started to be confused when the controversy erupted.
“We have to sop collecting rentals from our hotel and residential owners because they were confused to whom they will pay after the eruption of the controversy,” Sobrepeña stressed.
He explained that at that time that the company was collecting both rentals and management dues, the revenues generated was more than enough to sustain the operation of the camp but after they decided to temporarily stop collecting rentals, the developer is now heavily subsidizing the camp’s operations while the case is being heard before the Supreme Court (SC).
According to him, the management dues being paid to the developer is being used to maintain cleanliness within the camp, pay for the power, water bills and other basic utilities among others so that the cam will remain attractive for visitors and local residents.
He cited what BCDA has been doing to the developer over the past several months was to harass the same purposely to force management to give up its stake over the special economic zone vis-à-vis the pending resolution of the SC on the appealed ruling of the Court of Appeals on the questioned decision of the arbitral decision.
“BCDA has become so petty and insensitive to the people that supported and stayed with them through the years. We will not simply give up but we want BCDA to pay us and we will move out from the camp the next day,” Sobrepeña added.
The salient point of the arbitral decision that was upheld by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and the Court of Appeals (CA) was for BCDA to pay the developer the amount of P1.42 billion as reimbursements for the paid accumulated lease rentals of the developer and that CJHDevCo will subsequently turnover to the BCDA the premises of the special economic zone in tenantable condition which will constitute the mutual restitution of the original and revised lease agreements over the former American military base.
By Dexter A. See