COA Report: Another casino is planned on the Nayong Pilipino Foundation site

TREES or casino? Several Commission reports on the 2014 to July 2020 audit confirm that a 25-year rental agreement was signed between the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) and Resorts World Bayshore City Inc. (RWBCI), the casino developer. integrated from Megaworld Corp. Forged on August 20, 2014, the contract covers the “[development and operation] an integrated hotel and casino project on the MFN property in the Manila Bay recovery area in the city of Parañaque.

The COA also noted in its July 2020 report that the FNP had received P 1 billion in advance lease payments from RWBCI. In addition, NPF “did not collect the estimated VAT [value-added tax] in an amount of P120 million corresponding to 12 per cent of the rental advance of P1 billion of [RWBCI], therefore, no VAT was paid to the BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue]; instead, NPF collected monthly VAT from RWBCI, equivalent to monthly rent VAT. Likewise, no official receipt [OR] was issued for the collection of the advance rent of 1 billion pesos, rather than the RO is issued monthly to RWBCI, which is equivalent to the monthly rent, although the actual amount collected is only for VAT. Such an arrangement is contrary to the Circular of Memorandum on Revenue No. 16-2013. “

It should be remembered that President Duterte sacked the entire board of NPF in August 2018, for entering into a contract with another Hong Kong game complex developer, Landing International, which was deemed to be gravely disadvantageous. for the government. (See, “Duterte bans the casino at the new Nayong Pilipino park in Parañaque”, in the BusinessMirror, October 18, 2019.)

Mega-Vaxx site, a vacant lot

The FPN Council is currently blocking initiatives to establish a mega-vaccination facility on the foundation’s property along New Seaside Boulevard in Parañaque City, saying 500 trees would be felled for the project. The area proposed for the mega-vaxx center is in fact a vacant lot, devoid of trees, on the site where the RWBCI casino and hotel would stand, according to government and private sources.

Sources from BusinessMirror claimed the council was protecting its lease agreement with Megaworld / RWBCI, whose leaseholds will develop its Sambayanihan project, a forest park and cultural haven for artists. (See “Megaworld Agreement Lifted in Line of Nayon vaxx Site”, in BusinessMirror, May 10, 2021.)

The Sambayanihan project was supposed to have been funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority to the tune of P2 billion, but stagnated because the latter had to give up its funds for the government’s anti-Covid efforts. RWBCI’s lease payments are currently held in trust, according to the COA. These funds cannot be touched until the Ministry of Justice has issued a favorable opinion on the contract between NPF and RWBCI. But according to some sources, NPF has already used “part of the funds” held in trust for its operations.

In 2014, COA questioned the validity of the contract between NPF and RWBCI. In its report for that year, the agency said: “The rental contract concluded by the Foundation was concluded without a public call for tenders, contrary to Article 531, Chapter 2, Volume I of the accounting manual. and government audit of revenue-generating contracts, so the validity and merits of the contract and the reasonableness of the lease terms and rental rates could not be determined. “

Rental conditions

According to the rental agreement, “Rents will be 102.039 million pesos per year with a two-year grace period, subject to an increase of 5% every five years from the 7th year. The tenant paid a rent advance of 1.0 billion pesos for 20 years, which was discounted at 5%. “

Even then, the FPN “did not present comparative figures to show that the rental rates set for the rental agreement were reasonable, as required by OE 301. [Decentralizing Actions on Government Negotiated Contracts, Lease Contracts and Records Disposal]”, According to the COA report.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in his Monday press briefing that he was unsure whether President Duterte had already accepted the resignation of FPN Executive Director Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto as fiduciary.

Malilong-Isberto broke his silence on Monday and explained some of the questions raised about the NPF stand on the installation of mega vaxx. (See related article on A10, “Former Head of the Nayon Foundation: Mega-vaxx Site Not Part of National Plan.”)

“I have no news if she [Malilong-Isberto] the resignation was accepted. But we appeal to the Nayong Pilipino Board of Directors… that whatever decisions they make will not contradict the important mission of caring for the lives of our fellow Filipinos. The establishment of the mega-vaccination center in Nayong Pilipino is in accordance with the police powers inherent in our president, that is to say to protect the right of everyone to health, ”he told Taglish. [See“GalvezexhortelesdirigeantsdeNayon:letcentreméga-vaxxcontinue”inthe[See“GalvezurgesNayonexecs:Letmega-vaxxcenterproceed”inthe[Voir”GalvezexhortelesdirigeantsdeNayon:laissezlecentreméga-vaxxcontinuer”dansle[See“GalvezurgesNayonexecs:Letmega-vaxxcenterproceed”intheBusinessMirror, May 10, 2021.)

He pointed out that NPF is a government owned and controlled company “which is under the supervision of our president”.

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