GCG rejects Jurado’s claim new memo exempts Landing’s Nayong Pilipino casino from bidding for
The Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) said its recent memo should not be used to justify the grant of the corruption-tainted 75-year lease by Nayong Pilipino Foundation to Landing Casino.
GCG said Memorandum Circular No. 2018-02 was issued to ensure timely approval and implementation of government projects.
The memo was cited by former Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) head Rudolf Jurado who claimed President Rodrigo R. Duterte was misinformed regarding the details of the contract between Nayong Pilipino Foundation Inc. (NPFI) and Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corp. (LRPDC), a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Landing International Devt. Ltd.
Duterte sacked the whole NPFI Board last August 7, the same day of the ground breaking ceremony for the $1.5-billion casino resort of Landing Resort at the NPFI property in Paranaque City, saying the deal was ?anomalous? because it did not go through a public bidding.
Jurado said there was ?no truth? to the claims that he approved the 75-year contract. He said he issued a legal opinion on the deal last November, citing the need for public bidding but another memorandum was issued in January 2018, MC No. 2018-02, revoking GCG MC No. 2013-03.
GCG, in the statement, however, said that MC. No, 2013-03 ?contained provisions and processes that unnecessarily impede the timely approval and implementation of government projects.?
It explained that the agency ?regularly reviews its existing circulars and policies in keeping with its mandate to ensure the alignment and consistency of the GOCCs? (Government-Owned and Cortrolled Corporation) operations with the national development policies and programs, resulting to a more efficient and effective integration of programs, activities and priorities of the GOCCs.?
?In consideration of the current Administration?s policy to remove redundant requirements and align the development and implementation of infrastructure projects under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) scheme, the Governance Commission issued GCG M.C. No. 2018-02 to effectively streamline the process of implementing Major Development Projects and Major Contracts of GOCCs,? it said.
It also said that under M.C. No. 2018-02 ?Major Development Projects and Major Contracts of GOCCs shall continue to strictly fall under the review and decision-making process of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the NEDA Investment Coordination Committee (ICC), the NEDA Board, and/or the Economic Development Cluster (EDC), pursuant to all applicable existing laws, rules and regulations.?
It said state-owned corporations ?shall submit to the Governance Commission a report on said projects and contracts entered into for purposes of monitoring GOCC performance and asset utilization.?
The recently-issued MC also ?emphasizes that all agreements shall not be grossly disadvantageous to the government, and that GOCCs shall comply with existing laws, rules and regulations, regardless of covered land area and/or period.?
?To ensure this, the new M.C. now even requires the favorable legal opinion or contract review of the OGCC on GOCC contracts before entering into the said agreement,? it said. (PNA)