Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Subic cites better golf operations deal with Korean firm

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) defended its move to award the operations of its only golf course to a South Korean firm led by a senator's relative, saying that the company’s bid was the most advantageous proposal it received.

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said that the South Korean firm Hanafil Golf & Tour, Inc, headed by the nephew of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, gave "the most generous offer with contract provisions that are miles apart from those of the former operators."

The reaction was a response to comments of Northern Samar Representative Emil Ong, who said the terms of the lease contract were "disadvantageous to the government." Arreza said that while the former operator UIG International Development Corp. offered a rental of only P300,000 per month, or a total of P3.6 million in one year, Hanafil has offered $350,000, which translates to more than P14 million annually.

Aside from rental fees, Hanafil also offered the SBMA five percent in gross revenue sharing and development commitments worth $48 million to be established within six years.

“Given these commitments by Hanafil, the P3.6 million annual income under the old contract that the honorable congressman seems to want to maintain simply doesn’t measure up," Arreza said.

He said the bidding process was also reviewed by an oversight committee composed of members of the SBMA board of directors and other agency officials.

SBMA took over the operations of the golf course in 1997 and in 2007 due to alleged contract violations of UIG, a Taiwanese firm. SBMA and UIG have been locked in a tedious court battle for legal rights for the operations of the golf course for over a year.

UIG claims it has complied with the provisions of its lease agreement and SBMA illegally took over the facilities last year in violation of their contract. The House of Representatives has initiated an investigation of the case. - GMANews.TV

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