Mayor wants independent audit of John Hay contract
BAGUIO CITY, August 03 – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants both the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Sobrepena-owned Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) to sit down in arbitration and work out an independent audit of the 50-year lease agreement of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) instead of trading allegations through paid advertisements in the media.
Domogan vehemently denied a BCDA funfunded publication in a national daily quoting him as favoring the State-owned corporation's bid to collect P3 billion in accumulated rental arrears from JHDevCo..
BCDA and JHDevCo have already wasted huge sums of money in advancing their respective propaganda in the media," Domogan said, adding that the money used for publicity purposes should have been spent for better impact projects for the people of the city rather than being used to enrich a few sectors of society.
According to him, the city government should not be set aside by the two parties in the controversy since it is also a party-in-interest being host to the former American rest and recreation center, thus, the plight of the local government must be considered in deciding what would be the best thing to do to solve the impasse.
"We want to see the outcome of an independent audit on the contract so that the party that will be pinpointed to be liable of the breaches must fulfill its obligation instead of both parties insisting that they are correct in their interpretations," Domogan stressed, citing that based on his initial assessment of the current impasse, each of the parties has its own breaches.
The local chief executive claimed the current "media war" between the contending parties is placing the city in a bad light and creating doubt among prospective investors so the best thing for the two parties to do is to sit down in arbitration and discuss how to solve the problems that they themselves created so that the city will not continuously suffer damage through their respective propaganda initiatives.
"The problem with the BCDA and CJHDevCo people is that they refuse to admit their respective breaches on the lease agreement," Domogan said, citing that each party has its own point but nothing will happen if no one will take the lead and sit down in arbitration.
Earlier, the BCDA was compelled by a local court to sit down in arbitration with the developer before the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center in order to find ways and means on how to settle the current impasse that has stalled the development inside Camp John Hay (CJH).
Domogan said the city government is also preparing its position paper on the issues and concerns in relation to the CJH development controversy for possible consideration during the arbitration and mediation process for the possible adoption of a "win-win solution".
CJH is supposed to be converted into a world-class tourism center by JHDevCo pursuant to the 50-year lease agreement it signed with the BCDA sometime in October 1997. **