News: BCDA says may boost contribution to AFP

Image shows Bonifacio South Pointe,
a property under court dispute bet-
ween the BCDA and SM Land Inc.
Written Jan 29 for Jan 30, 2013
by Dennis Estopace, Reporter
[446 words / 2,679 characters]

THE fund to modernize the country's armed forces may get an additional P3.6 billion this year from the Base Conversion Development Authority but only if a legal tiff with SM Land Inc. is resolved.

The state-owned BCDA filed a Motion for Reconsideration last January 14 before the Supreme Court seeking to dissolve the Temporary Restraining Order secured by SM Land, part of the conglomerate of the Sy dynasty.

BCDA president and chief executive Arnel Paciano D. Casanova said in a press briefing that the case involves the bidding of the 33.1-hectare camp area, which is composed of land presently occupied by the the Army Service Command and Security Services Unit of the Philippine Army and, in part, by the Bonifacio Naval Station and Philippine Marine Corps of the Philippine Navy.

The BCDA tagged these areas cumulatively as the Bonifacio South Pointe Property, which is located along Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Pending the resolution of the case, Casanova told BusinessMirror after the press briefing that the BCDA will focus on selling another different lot.

"But it's not a prime lot as South Pointe," Casanova, who is also a lawyer, said.

He said in a presentation that the BCDA has been remitting on the average about P2.07 billion to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the last two years.

If the legal dispute with SM Land continues, Casanova said that they can expect to remit the same amount for the AFP Modernization Program this year.

He added that they will continue with their mandate of disposing idle lands in military camps of the AFP, and putting under property development all camps already outside Metro Manila.

"We're talking about 330,000 hectares that can be developed. But we have to come up with comprehensive base development plan so we need to master plan all the military camps and ask our armed forces which camps do they still need, they want to retain, and which camps they want to let go or develop for additional revenue generation for the afp modernization."
Image of the Villamor Air Base, which
is one of the military camps that the
BCDA said could earn if developed.

Casanova said BCDA is talking to officials of the AFP and may finish a master plan within the year.

On Tuesday, he identified Fort Magsaysay, Camp Aguinaldo, Camp Peralta, Camp Kibaritan, Camp O'Donnell, and the San Miguel Naval Communication Station as among those that could be developed.

"The AFP is the country's biggest landholder but this, property development, is a 'battle' they might need help."

Casanova said that of the total land area held by the AFP, only 20 percent is being used.

"Fort Magsaysay alone, the entire 40,000 hectare is not being occupied by the army; it's only the headquarters of the division. Just imagine, half of Metro Manila ang area nila."

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