MAYOR Mauricio Domogan is proposing the renegotiation of the mutually restituted contract between the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority and the Sobrepeña-owned Camp John Hay Development Corporation in order to maximize the development potentials of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone.
The local chief executive is eagerly awaiting the officials who will be appointed by incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to replace the current set of BCDA officials before he will try to venture the proposal that will contribute in increasing employment opportunities and sources of livelihood for the local residents once the proposed development of the former American rest and recreation center will be realized as planned over two decades ago.
"We have to seriously work to have the planned development of John Hay so that there will be more jobs and sources of livelihood available for our people aside from its contribution to the robust growth of the local tourism industry. We will try our best to make the appropriate representations with the new BCDA leadership to be able to achieve our goals and objectives," Domogan stressed.
It can be recalled the decision of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center for the mutual restitution of the John Hay development contract between BCDA and CJHDevCo was appealed by the State corporation with the Court of Appeals and eventually ended up with the Supreme Court.
The mayor said only 23 percent of the proposed development of the JHSEZ was implemented by the developer because of the failure of the concerned government agencies to deliver the areas that should be developed and the pertinent permits related to the proposed development of the American military base into a world-class tourism facility.
Domogan is proposing the developer should directly remit to the BCDA the 75 percent of the annual lease rental of the economic zone while the 25 percent share of the city government should be directly remitted by the developer to the coffers of the local government.
Under the present set up, the developer pays to the BCDA the annual lease rental of the special economic zone in full and in turn, the BCDA requires the city government to submit a list of priority projects that will be funded by its 25 percent share.
Domogan said the city government was able to learn its lessons from the existing John Hay deal, thus, it is high time that the renegotiated contract should contain the provision mandating the direct remittance of the city's share from the lease agreement to the city without passing through the BCDA.
He said that such safeguard will prevent the city government from being affected by any future conflict between the developer and the BCDA once there will be a new agreement in order on the development of the special economic zone.