• Arbitration settles Camp John Hay row


    BAGUIO CITY: The arbitration committee came up with a win-win resolution to the problems that haunted Camp John Hay (CJH) as it ordered the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to pay the developer P1.42 billion in reimbursements.

    Both the developer of CJH Development Corporation and the BCDA see the announcement as a victory as it would return the camp to government control. Developer will also be paid the money it spent for the project.

    In the decision handed down on Wednesday, the arbitration body awarded the developer some P1.42 billion, aside from signing off the supposed P3.3 billion in accrued unpaid rent of the former American rest and recreation facility. In exchange, the developer must vacate the leased property and turn it over to the BCDA.

    The CJH developer said the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI) sided with them and awarded them the reimbursement for rental payments it made since 1996.

    In a statement, it also praised the PDRCI for ruling that the BCDA is not entitled to the P3.3 billion rent it claims the CJH developer supposedly owes.

    Robert John Sobrepeña, CJH Dev. Corp. president, said in a press statement that his firm is willing to turn over the leased property to BCDA provided that the latter continues to protect the trees as well as the lessors and locators within the former American base.

    “We hope that when we turn-over the Camp to BCDA after the P1.42 billion award is paid to us, the BCDA will take care of the 480,000 trees we will leave behind,” he said.

    He claimed that the camp only had 250,000 trees when his firm took over its management in 1996. After 19 years, Sobrepeña said they planted 230,000 more.

    “The presence of these trees posed the greatest challenge to our development plans as we believed these trees should not be cut. As a result, in our resolve to not cut the trees, our development footprint had been substantially reduced,” said Sobrepeña.

    In a separate press conference called by the BCDA, John Hay Management Corporation President Jaime Agbayani also claimed victory saying that they can now order the “delinquent” lessor out.

    “We see this as a victory for the government. Finally, it will be returned and it can now be developed for the benefit of the public,” said BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Arnel Paciano Casanova.


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    1. With the arbitration committee’s decision, we can now see a piece of hope and a light at the end of the tunnel that the Camp John Hay special development zone will be in good hands. More investments will pour in if they see a warm and stable environment to work in.

    2. Easier said than done. 1.42 B is a staggering amount of money. Where will BCDA gets it. The Baguio folks are keeping their fingers crossed that you will get the said amount for their dream of making the city a much better place to live in.

    3. Pilosopo Tasyo on

      Naku po, saan naman kukuha ang BCDA ng halagang pmabayad. Ang laki ata ng 1.42 B . Alam kong gagamitin lahat ng gobyerno ang resources para maka-utang . ang tanong at agam-agam ng masa ay baka po mabahiran na naman ng corruption ang hakbang na ito ng BCDA.

    4. Indeed, a win-win situation for both parties. The question now is where will the BCDA get the money to pay CJH Development Corporation. 1.42 B is a whooping amount of money. I bet the people of Baguio will wait for some more years before they will ever get their dreams fulfilled.

    5. What is the basis for the arbitration panel to have come up with the figure of 1.4 billion? Did they mention anything about the 25% cut for the local government?

    6. I don’t consider this a victory for BCDA. Yes, they will get Camp John Hay back, it’s ironic that they would have to pay P1.4 billion when they think CJH Development Corporation owes them P3.3 billion!

      • I disagree with you bro. It is a victory of sort for BCDA for they will get the properties. And the 3.3 B you mentioned that CJH Development Corporation owes them, there is a also supplemental decision for this issue. BCDA can’t collect the amount.

    7. P1.4 billion is staggering! I hope the government has funds for this so they can immediately get their hands on Camp John Hay and start developing (or re-developing) it soon. There is a lot of potential income there

    8. It’s a win-win decision indeed. But the question is, will the government pay CJH Development Corporation outright? or will opt for a staggered payment? Either way, it is now the government’s turn to take care of Camp John Hay and utilize it the best way possible!