BCDA maps out options for CJHDevco victims

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The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is firming up options for locators and investors in Baguio’s Camp John Hay to take advantage of an arbitral award favoring the BCDA, and is in talks with utility service providers to ensure that there will be no disruption in business, the agency told investors.

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A 3-member arbitration tribunal under the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI)was unanimous in ordering Sobrepeña’s CJH Development Corp. (CJHDevco) to vacate Camp John Hay in a decision dated February 11.

In a separate opinion, committee member Teodoro Kalaw IV said CJHDevco should pay BCDA the P2.4 billion obligation that it admitted to owing the state-run firm since 2008.

“We cannot just turn our backs on you . . . we are looking for ways to make you whole in the same way that we ourselves are making ourselves whole,” BCDA head of legal services Atty. Peter Paul Andrew Flores told investors in a meeting last Friday.

Flores said the government has mapped out several options for investors but it cannot disclose the details yet.

The BCDA asked investors to provide them a record of their lease contracts with CJH Development Corp. so that the state-run firm can start an inventory and determine how to proceed. While CJHDevco’s original agreement was only for a 25-year lease, it had sold 50-year leases to its investors.

The BCDA said government has no plans of closing Camp John Hay, and that it has no plans to shut down the businesses inside the camp.

Several investors expressed concerns over the possibility of having their businesses disrupted because of the ongoing issue between the government and CJHDevco, especially with the approach of the peak tourism season in Baguio.

“If there will be any disruption, it will definitely not come from us,” Atty. Michelle Regala-Niebres, John Hay Management Corp. vice president and chief operating officer said. The management company is a part of the BCDA group.

“In fact, we have been talking to Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc. and other utility service providers to ensure that there will be no disruption,” Regala-Niebres said.

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