The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Friday welcomed the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte to review the lease contract between the state-run University of the Philippines (UP) and Ayala Corporation for the development of the UP-Ayala Technohub.
“As a UP faculty member and former vice president for public affairs, I share the concerns raised in the COA (Commission on Audit) report and look forward to a fair and impartial review,” CHED chairman Propero de Vera III said in a statement.
“Pursuant to the order of the President to review all contracts that have onerous provisions or may be disadvantageous to the interest of the country, I will raise this issue in the UP Board of Regents meeting on 3 February 2020 and urge the UP Board to provide full support by instructing all UP offices to provide the necessary documents and ensuring that all individuals involved in the transactions will be interviewed so we can determine if the contract is above board and advantageous to the university,” De Vera added.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Ayala Land has been paying only P20 per square meter in monthly rentals to the state university.
Ayala Land entered into a 25-year lease agreement with UP in 2006 to develop and convert the 37-hectare land along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City into a commercial lot.
But Ayala Land debunked Panelo’s claim, saying that the effective lease rate paid to UP is actually P171 per square meter.
It added that the state university will earn a total of P10.23 billion under the 25-year lease contract — P4.23 billion in lease payments and P6 billion in investments for the development of 16 commercial buildings.