Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, July 22, 2005

Subic Bay ends indebted freeport locator’s contract

THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has terminated a management contract with the Cu-Unjieng-owned Financial Building Corp. (FBC) for its failure to settle millions of pesos in unpaid arrears.

Some 132 FBC-managed residential units are situated at the Forest Hills Housing Complex inside the Subic Bay Freeport.

A report released by the SBMA on Thursday confirmed the termination of the management contract with FBC, with the notice served by lawyer Rizalino Katalbas Jr., the agency’s legal department head.

The SBMA said it terminated its management contract with FBC after the company failed to comply with several provisions, including the payment of arrears.

As of 2003, the FBC had the highest financial obligation to the SBMA with P550 million in unpaid arrears followed by the Malaysian firm LIRL with P485 million.

Even after it mortgaged the properties located at Triboa Bay—Apec villas and Edgewater condominiums and Times Square at the Central Business District, FBC still failed to pay or reduce its outstanding accounts with the SBMA.

“We have exercised prudence in observing due process. Appropriate notices and collection letters have been sent. But we are mandated to protect the interest of SBMA and implement the board decision,” Katalbas said.

The lawyer likewise stressed that SBMA’s takeover of the property is justified since the government has to make good use of its assets.

“We are merely protecting and exercising our right and taking over what is rightfully ours. Under our management contract, the FB (Subic Bay) Corporation is merely managing the Subic property,” he added.

The Forest Hills Housing Complex was originally leased in 1996 to Investment Building Corp. and FBC. The contract was amended in 1997 and 1998, and was assigned in December 1997 to FBC, which assumed all the obligations of the two original lessors.


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