On ‘The NayonLanding controversy’

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This is in reaction to the column of Mr. Paul Farol enti-tled “The NayonLanding controversy” published/posted on 6 December 2018 in the Daily Tribune and tribune.net.ph.

The facts of the so-called “The NayonLanding controversy” are as follows:
On 28 November 2017, Nayong Pilipino Foundation, Inc. (Nayong Pilipino) sent a letter request to the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) which I then headed. It was a request for affirmative opinion of their intention to lease out Nayong Pilipino’s property containing an area of 95,724 square meters in favor of Landing Resorts Development Corporation (Landing Resorts).

On 29 November 2017, I, as the then Government Corporate Counsel (GCC), issued a written legal opinion dated 29 November 2017 requiring Nayong Pilipino to publicly bid out the subject lease agreement prior to execution. This is in pursuant to paragraph 4.1 (b) (i) of GCG Memo Circular (MC) 2013-3 (issued during the time of President Benigno Aquino), which requires lease agreement exceeding 10 years and in-volving one hectare of land to undergo public bidding.

Paragraph 4.1(b)(i) of the MC 2013-03 states clearly that lease agreements exceeding 10 years and involving at least one hectare of land should undergo public bidding, thus:

b) Lease agreements exceeding 10 years entered into pursuant to the business model/primary purpose of the GOCC, subject to the following guidelines:

i. Leasing of areas involving at least one hectare shall be bidded out.

On 30 November 2017, Nayong Pilipino sent a letter reconsideration to OGCC asking for reconsideration of the letter opinion dated 29 November 2017.

Again, as the then GCC, I issued a legal opinion dated 11 December 2017 reiterating that Nayong Pilpino is required to “publicly bid out the subject lease agreement prior to execution” pursuant to MC 2013-3. This legal opinion, however, was not released after Nayong Pilipino withdrew its letter-reconsideration.

Later on, the Governance Commission for GOCC (GCG), an attached agency and under the control and supervision of the Office of the President (OP) issued GCG MC 2018-2 dated 3 January 2018 REVOKING GCG MC 2013-3.

Because GCG MC 2018-2 revoked (a word literally means “to put an end to the validity and operation of”) GCG MC 2013-3, it goes without saying that GCG MC 2013-3’s paragraph 4.1 (b) (i) which required public bidding for intended lease was likewise revoked.

Nayong Pilipino filed a letter reconsideration on 22 Febru-ary 2018 arguing that, since the GCG MC 2013-3 was revoked, there is no need to publicity bid the Nayong Pilipino prop-erty.

Since I cannot anymore invoke GCG MC 2013-3, which requires public bidding on lease of property, I was forced to render a contract review dated 9 March 2018.

In order to protect the interest of the government, I imposed 12 stringent conditions in my contract review dated 9 March 2018, among which are as follows: For Nayong Pilipino to renegotiate for the further increase of rental and to ensure that the rental shall be fair, reasonable and not disadvantageous to the government; ensure that the property or part thereof will be utilized as the Cultural Park; VAT is to be assumed by the lessee and lease of the property is only for 25 years.

Since the draft contract of lease prepared by Nayong Pilipi-no and Landing Resorts does not provided for any escalation clause, I also imposed as a condition that there should be an “annual escalation clause equivalent to, at least, the annual inflation rate published by Philippine Statistics Authority.”

I do not know whether Nayong Pilipino complied with all these conditions.

Attached hereto are copies of MC 2013-3 and MC 2018-2, which can be downloaded from the Internet.

I would like to state that were it not for this GCG MC 2018-2 issued by the GCG, Nayong Pilipino would not be able to do away with public bidding on the subject lease property.

Please take note, however, these GCG MC 2018-2 and GCG MC 2013-3 are applicable only to lease of property of Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC). These do not apply to Build Operate and Transfer and Joint Venture Agreement which still requires for a public bidding or Swiss Challenge.

Mr. Paul Farol posed the question: “If it is true that no bidding was required and the deal was not disadvantageous to the government, why was the redevelopment of Nayong Pilipino stopped?” My question is, why was GCG MC 2013-3 which requires public bidding of GOCC properties for lease revoked?

I am requesting that this letter be published so that the people will know what really happened in this “NayonLanding controversy.”

Let’s tell the truth.

Atty. Rudolf Philip B. Jurado
Former Government Corporate Counsel.
12 Enders Street, Filinvest East, Cainta, Rizal
Mobile No.: 09175201943

 

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On ‘When politics becomes business’

Those who fancy themselves to be opinion writers like Mr. Jesse Bacon, but are seemingly predisposed to peddling wild allegations, have no business writing newspaper columns that pretend to be think pieces. Their works of fiction are perfect in the literary sections of newspapers where plots, no matter how convoluted, do not have to be rooted to any semblance of truth.

Such columnists like Mr. Bacon who have no qualms about casting aspersion on the integrity of hardworking and results-oriented public servants sans any evidence to back their libelous charges are the ones that put public service in peril.

I don’t even know that my district has P2 billion worth of approved projects under next year’s national budget plan, though I am aware that I have consistently sent funding requests in the billions as it is my job and responsibility to do so. He must know something I don’t.

But assuming Mr. Bacon is correct, P2 billion is not even enough for my district of 19 municipalities and 436 barangays in Bohol. Surely I submitted more projects for funding considering my district is the biggest out of Bohol’s three districts and 1.3 million people.

The capital outlay based on the budget plan endorsed by Malacañang is P752 billion. There are 238 legislative districts which means that if you were to equally divide that amount among all the districts each district should get about P3.1 billion worth of projects. Meaning the P2 billion that Mr. Bacon claims to have been allotted to my legislative district is only two-thirds of the amount that is supposed to be divvied up on an equal-sharing basis.

I dare Mr. Bacon to go to all the 436 barangays in my district, so he can see for himself solid proof of all the tax sourced projects I have delivered to my constituents ever since I was elected representative of the Third Congressional District of Bohol. Seeing all the projects completed may yet change his mind and remove his prejudices and bias from simply accepting politically motivated and skewed information that are peddled to him without the attendant facts verified.

Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap
Bohol 3rd District Representative

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