SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) closed down Comteq Computer and Business College here over its alleged failure to pay more than P17 million in rent arrears.
The closure displaced 500 students enrolled in the school.
“This has been a lingering case of irresponsibility on the part of Comteq,” SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma told journalists in a media briefing before ordering SBMA security personnel to take control of the school facility along Manila Avenue at the Central Business District here.
Eisma said the agency is also concerned about the fate of Comteq students but added they have given the school management much leeway in the past to meet its obligations.
The SBMA’s takeover of the school came after a Regional Trial Court in Olongapo City denied a petition for a
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that Comteq had filed.
Comteq president Danny Piano said the SBMA has every right to take over the school with the TRO denial but told The Manila Times in an interview that the alleged P17-million back rent issue “is very complicated.”
He said he has acquired a certification from the SBMA Treasury Department that says Comteq does not owe the SBMA money.
Piano explained that the school, which started in 2006 with a 25-year lease at the site of what is now part of Harbor Point Ayala Mall, was asked to move when the development of a mall began and was eventually transferred to a part of a building occupied by the University of the Philippines Extension Program in Olongapo.
Piano, who took over the school more than a year ago, said the SBMA already took over and closed down the school in April this year allegedly because of unpaid rent but gave an extension until the end of October.
Meanwhile, SBMA director Benny Antiporda, when asked by The Manila Times to comment on the status of Comteq students, said the agency officials will meet soonest to find a way to best address the problem.