“Philexport’s contribution for export development and promotion came from the revenue it generated from the rentals of the World Trade Center.”
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has backed the government’s P1,000 annual lease agreement for a five-hectare lot in Pasay City with the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) because it contributed to the growth of the local export industry.
According to Lopez, the agreement which was signed during the term of former president Fidel Ramos, has contributed to nearly P300 million to the domestic export development in the past 19 years. The trade chief said Philexport’s contribution for export development and promotion came from the revenue it generated from the rentals of the World Trade Center, which is located in the property leased by the organization.
“The government allowed it to support the organization to make money so they can plow back the proceeds to export development,” Lopez said at Export Development Council (EDC) meeting as he noted the DTI then has limited budget for export promotion.
Lopez made the statement in reaction to criticism raised by Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone, who described the deal as disadvantageous to the government. This prompted a request to Malacañang Palace to revoke the Executive Order signed by Ramos granting the renewal of Philexport’s lease contract to another 25 years.
But Lopez said the land lease arrangement between the government and Philexport remains to be “in order.”
To further contribute to export development, Philexport is maximizing the property by building a hotel and office facilities, which will be rented out once these are completed, Lopez said.
He said that for this year alone, Philexport expects to generate P36.9 million from the rentals of World Trade Center’s exhibition halls, P17.5 million from the hotel, and P13 million from the office building.
Lopez said EDC would monitor these projects of Philexport within the government property as well as its reinvestment to boost the export sector.