Sale of RP lot in Japan put on hold

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Philippine government has suspended the planned sale of a prime property that houses the official residence of the ambassador to Japan.

Sources in the Department of Finance revealed that the ambassador himself, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Domingo Siazon, opposed the sale. He wanted only half of the 4,361-square meter lot disposed of, and the other half retained as his residence, the sources said.

Nine companies have formally signified their interest to bid for the property in Fujimi Cho, Chiyoda Ku. The property was valued at P3 billion.

The bidding committee originally scheduled the submission of the financial bids for the property on March 4. The deadline was extended to March 25 to give prospective bidders time to translate theJapanese documents to English.

An English translation will also enable the Philippine Embassy in Japan to authenticate the documents and determine the proposal of the bidders.

At least 22 entities gave letters of intent last Jan. 28. However, only six have been able to submit the required documents last March 4.

Apart from the Fujimi Cho property, the Philippines also owns other choice lots in Japan.

The Philippine government has successfully awarded lease and development contracts for its 764-sq m property in Naniwa Cho and the 3,014-sq m property in Obanoyama Cho both situated in Kobe, Japan to Berg Co. Ltd. of Japan.

It has likewise awarded the four-story building with a floor area of 2,489 sq m in Nampeidai in Tokyo Japan to Nagayama-Taisei consortium of Japan.

The development of the Nampeidai property has been put on hold after the Pasay City Regional Trial Court issued an injunction preventing further government action until the resolution of a private dispute between members of the Nagayama-Taisei consortium.

The Finance Department was targetting to raise P29.5 billion from the sale of big-ticket assets this year.

It has so far raised P8.7 billion from the sale of its 10 percent stake in Lopez-controlled utility giant Manila Electric Co. to state-run pension fund manager Government Service Insurance System last January.

Aside from the property in Japan, the government intends to sell its 100 percent interest in PNOC-Exploration Corp. worth around P6 billion and the sprawling 100-hectare property of Food Terminal Inc. in Taguig City worth P15 billion.