Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Lease contract renewal frozen at Clark Freeport
By Ding Cervantes

Jul 13, 2017

CLARK FREEPORT -- Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) chairman Vivencio Dizon said here the other day that no lease contract with investors in this freeport would be renewed until a new master plan is fully completed by well-known architect Felino Palafox.

In his briefing at the Asia Chief Executive Offi cers (Asia CEO) forum here, Dizon, who is also concurrent acting president of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) which manages this Freeport, said several lease contracts of some 920 investors here are set to expire this year and in the coming years.

Dizon said this is the reason why CDC has commissioned Palafox to do a new master plan for the 2,400-hectare freeport.

Many of the lease contracts covered 25 years since CDC was established in 1993 after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and the departure of the Americans in this former US Air Force base.

CDC records indicated that 15 to 20 percent of CDC’s land lease contracts with some 920 investors in this Freeport would expire soon. Some of these contracts might no longer be renewed and the lands and buildings the affected investors initially leased would be reverted to the state firm.

“The buildings they built would then be CDC property and we plan to lease out these buildings with new rates per square meter. Details on this option would be among those to be covered by the master plan,” said CDC president Noel Manankil in a recent briefing. Manankil is currently on leave.

CDC board chairman Jose de Jesus said the master plan would also cover what the CDC could do with the areas occupied by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) here, amid proposals to transfer the air force to other areas to allow more investors in this freeport.

De Jesus noted that the PAF occupies 300 hectares. Some 100 hectares are within the jurisdiction of the CDC, while the other 200 hectares are within the territory of the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC). CIAC and CDC are subsidiaries of the BCDA, he explained.

It is also expected that contracts with several duty-free shops which were among the earliest investors in this freeport are set to expire next year. “There is a law that bars renewal of contracts of duty-free shops, so the only way for their owners to stay on is to move to other types of businesses,” De Jesus noted.

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