GOVERNMENT need for money is a bottomless pit. The raging pandemic isn’t over yet, and I firmly believe that there will be more extremely difficult months ahead in battling the invisible Covid-19. We can expect Secretary Sonny Dominguez throwing the red flag sooner or later. The finances are in precarious balance. Nothing more for the ever-crying poor folks because there’s not much money now in the treasury.
Forget the Social Amelioration Program even the shrill cries from the impoverished of the country’s slums will persist. Ignore the much-needed bailout being demanded by airline owners. Sorry President Duterte, the ball is in your hands. Hopefully your strategy will somehow on how to raise more funds will succeed and not fail like your adopted moves in the drug war which failed miserably.
One sound byte I’ve heard early this year was when Duterte openly declared he will resort to sell some government properties if there’s a need. I can see one. So acute. Now may I sincerely propose a solution on how to make trillions and trillions of pesos, and I expect everybody will be happy. Too good to be true? It is true! And if you don’t agree on the proposal, just bite your lips, gnash your teeth, sport a smile and then forget it.
The need is endless while the world is in the pandemic hole. More billions of pesos are needed. Aside from funds against the outbreak, the government needs more money, money and more money. No need to cross oceans and with stretched palms begging for more aids for foreign donations if we will sell some 100,000 hectares of land at a premium price. Yes, Virginia let’s sell what we owned. It’s just like when a family is pushed to the wall and need money badly, he will resort to sell something of value.
Here’s the proposal. All. what we have to do is put a deed on the land titles owned by our government now which were formerly base lands used by the American military forces. Clark Freeport, the former Subic naval base, Poro Point and Other smaller former military camps. These locations may even spur growth and make our country list among the first world.
I served as a member of the board of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) for some years till I resigned in the late 2013. I saw how a former military camp was transformed into a cross-functional central business district. And this is the former Fort Bonifacio, now called the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). The BGC is only more than 300-hectare property and this is now the location of tall and modern buildings. The Market Market Shopping Mall and the Sy owned Aura are drawing the shoppers while those who are biased food lovers’ troop from lunch hour to dinner time at the Serendra. Hundreds of thousands of yuppie workers fill the hundreds of tall office buildings and while their break time are spent at the Bonifacio High Street.
All these things happened when the government placed a deed on the title and sold the land. If you were lucky enough to buy a property there earlier, you can sell it from anywhere from half million to one million per square meter today because builders are allowed vertical constructions, as against the adjacent Forbes Park and Dasmarinas Village where a square meter of land you’ll be buying at P300 thousand per square meter only because tall buildings are not allowed to be built in these two gated subdvisions. This idea of mine is take it or leave it. Adopt it or drop it. Study it or forget it.