By Ben Rosario
The Commission on Audit assailed the Taguig City local government for the commercial lease of a 1.8- hectare donated property at the Bonifacio Global City while leaving out the Armed Forces of the Philippines of its rightful share from the profit.
In its 2017 annual audit report for the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, COA said the water and sewage system deal BCDA entered with a private firm “appear to be disadvantageous to the government.”
The audit report also revealed that some P27.505 billion in land assets have not yet been secured with transfer certificate of titles (TCT) in the name of BCDA.
In its audit observation of a deed of conveyance where BCDA donated 16.88 hectares of BGC to Taguig City, COA noted that the DOC has been circumvented, advertently or inadvertently, by the city government.
This issue resulted in a legal issue that pitted BCDA and AFP against the city government.
COA advised BCDA, AFP and the Taguig City government to resolve amicably the issue of the profit derived the LGU derives from leasing out 18,975 square meters of prime commercial property donated by the BCDA.
Auditors told the parties to avoid “tedious and expensive’ legal battle” and work on what is fair for the AFP.
“While the non-adherence to the purpose of the donation can no longer be undone, a way to rectify this is by adhering to Republic Act 7917 to primarily finance the self-reliance and modernization program of the AFP,” COA said.
Auditors noted that the leased land is part of the 16.88-hectare land at BGC that the BCDA donated to the city government to be developed into local government center, sports facilities, and parks.
“In our view, that the City of Taguig, in leasing out the 18.975 square meters of the donated land, unlocked the commercial valule of the land yielding financial gains to the city but in the process bypassed the equitable share of AFP in the asset disposition,” COA said.
The audit agency also raised issue on the memorandum of agreement that the BCDA entered with the Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation and the Bonifacio Water Corporation for the development of a water and sewage system in Bonifacio Global City, saying that this appears to be disadvantageous to the government.”
Auditors revealed that aside from granting the BWC free use of a 23,126-square-meter lot at BGC, the MOA has also given the water firm “business opportunity in BGC without charge.”
“Land assets valued at P27,505 billion are not covered by TCTs in the name of BCDA,” COA further observed.
Among these are camps and economic zones valued at P19.311 billion such as the 87,493,672 Clark Zone Sub Zone Lot 9 valued at P7.874 billion; 544.275 hectare John Hay Proper in Baguio City, P5.987 billion; 25,855,64-square-meter Clark Green City, P3.297 billion; 99,878 sq.-m. Villamor Air Base P1,662 billion and several others.
Other lots in Clark valued at P7.167 billion and SCTEX lots valued at P24.197 million are also with TCTs, COA revealed.
Auditors said this observation was raised in the audit report last year.
In reaction, BCDA assured COA that it is now expediting the issuance of land titles in the name of the state-owned firm.