Baguio building owners given deadline on contracts or vacate

>> Tuesday, July 4, 2017

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY – The city government has given building owners in the public market and other city-owned properties in the central business district 90 days to sign renewal of their final 15-year contract for continuous operation of their businesses.
City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias told the city council Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan gave final notice to concerned building owners that they have 90 days from May 28 to renew contracts for their leased premises for the final 15 years or else building owners must vacate premises and  remove their structures.
He said the decision of the local government to impose the deadline was an offshoot of findings of the Commission on Audit on alleged disadvantageous contracts entered into by the local government regarding the utilization of city-owned lands and that rentals being paid by building owners are way below prevailing rentals in similarly situated structures privately owned within the central business district area.
Of 127 building owners having lease contracts with the local government, Cabarrubias revealed 81 building owners decided to renew their contracts with the local government with the condition that after the lapse of the 15-year agreement, the buildings and all other improvements in the areas that they currently occupy will automatically become the properties of the city.
Some 46 building owners refused to renew their contracts since they want the assailed provision of the contract removed, particularly the one that provides that the city will own all the improvements after 15 years.
From the previous P0.75 per square meter per day rental of the occupied areas by the building owners, Cabarrubias claimed building owners and the city mayor agreed to increase the rentals to P6 per square meter per day for the final 15 years of the lease over their occupied parcels of the city-owned lands.
 The renewed contracts of the lessees of the city-owned properties are now pending confirmation before the local legislative body so that the final 15-year agreement will be in full force and effect.
 The city government invited building owners in the early 1970s to help develop the city-owned properties within the city public market to help spur economic growth and provide employment to residents.
Under the first contract, building owners were required to turn over to the city all improvements after the lapse of their contracts.
However, the 15-year timeframe of the contract was allegedly removed from the second and third renewal of the contract, thus, city officials were constrained to return the said provision after receiving the COA findings and recommendations.

Cabarrubias said after lapse of the 15-year period of the contract, the building owners shall have occupied the city-owned lands for at least 60 years that would mean that they were able to already recover their expenses in building their structures. -- Dexter A. See


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