BCDA rush to lease out John Hay portions worries AIM alumni | Inquirer News

BCDA rush to lease out John Hay portions worries AIM alumni

/ 09:00 AM August 16, 2014


BAGUIO CITY—Alumni of Asian Institute of Management (AIM), among them top government officials, accused the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) of rushing a new lease development plan that would kick the school out of Camp John Hay.

AIM operates Igorot Lodge, one of the last cottages built in 1912 to house American military personnel, using a lease that will end in 2018.


Jamie Agbayani, president of John Hay Management Corp. (JHMC), said Igorot Lodge was standing on part of Camp John Hay’s unleased property that will be developed before the end of President Aquino’s term in 2016.


JHMC, the BCDA firm overseeing Camp John Hay and John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ), is undertaking an inventory of the unleased property, which spans 40 hectares, in preparation for a new master plan, Agbayani said.

Four cottages below the Igorot Lodge compound, which serve as JHMC offices, will be given priority for lease development in the hope of drawing investors into new lodging home projects there, she said.

These facilities will use “low-density architecture” and will be designed to avoid cutting pine trees in the area.

A second phase of the project will be pursued after 2018 when AIM’s contract expires, suggesting that the AIM lease won’t be renewed, AIM alumni said.

“They should… not bully small guys and academics like us … . We were not consulted in their bidding plans. We were excluded from their new plan. This is not fair, as we have been good tenants. We have been paying our rentals. Though [the rent is] not as much [compared to the high-end projects of JHSEZ’s other locators], we are good tenants,” an alumnus said in an e-mail to the Inquirer.

The alumnus, an official of an agency attached to the Office of the President, asked not to be named in the report pending a complaint being drawn up by AIM graduates.


He said they received information that JHMC planned “to put up higher density development to get more revenues… at the expense of the scenery.”

“Igorot Lodge is a heritage site that AIM has maintained over the years. The BCDA is now suddenly becoming too money conscious at the expense of good institutional locators like AIM, which has added to the image of Camp John Hay,” he said.

He said rushing a development plan for Igorot Lodge before the contract lapsed “smacked of a midnight deal being cooked up.”

“They are preempting the prerogatives of the incoming administration in 2016. It is too early. They should keep good tenants like AIM and train their guns on lousy ones,” he said.

This was a reference to the BCDA’s conflict in 2012 with Camp John Hay’s developer, businessman Robert John Sobrepeña, over unpaid rent, which had led to lawsuits. Both parties are awaiting the results of court-directed arbitration proceedings.

AIM was informed of these development plans in 2012, records showed.

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Early this year, Marietta Ramos, AIM general manager, asked the BCDA to grant the organization time to offer its own development plan as it addresses the terms of lease renewal offered by JHMC over Igorot Lodge. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon


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