JHMC downplays Scout Barrio hospital

JOHN Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) president and chief executive officer Allan Garcia confirmed three proposals were submitted for the Scout Barrio open field but stressed not one has been approved.

Garcia said proposals have been received for a hospital project at the area which is part of the titled state owned property of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) but was quick to appease opposition that as of press time, no approval has been made.

The JHMC management, however, confirmed soil testing has been conducted for the area and further explained the act is essential for any proposal to push through and does not translate to approval and said it is the mandate of both the JHMC and the BCDA to generate income.

Since word of the project became public, protests have been filed by the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) and Baguio City Councilor Michael Lawana if plans to set up a hospital at the Scout Barrio open field will push through.

Garcia said the opposition made by the barangay and the ABC and the city council is welcome as he assured of due process in the matter.

The City Council has also approved a resolution of opposition to the project.

Residents and the ABC are in agreement the location of the hospital at the open field of the village will hamper its general use which is utilized by schools and residents.

A petition from residents details the area where the hospital is to be built is being used for events, campsite for children and schools, and an evacuation site in time of disasters. The area is also an income generating zone for the barangay as ecological damage is also feared as well as the destruction of the historical significance of the area.

Lawana said the setup of a hospital is a welcome development as health services will be open for all but its location will have to set so as not to destroy the open spaces.

Garcia, meanwhile, underscored the BCD Board will approve whatever proposals that will be found feasible after the conduct of a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of existing unsolicited proposals but there are no plans yet to use the contested area for a privately-owned hospital.

JHMC, added Garcia, allowed some groups to conduct soil testing in some of its properties which will be used by proponents to support their feasibility studies for their unsolicited proposals but the conduct of such study does not mean that there is already an approved project in the said area.

The JHMC official explained if the unsolicited proposals of project proponents who want to use some of its properties for business purposes, then the JHMC will own the results of whatever technical studies that were undertaken that could be used for future references in case the corporation will have plans to develop the said areas for suitable projects that will ensure the generation of added income for the BCDA. (With PR)


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