THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) welcomed the government’s review of Ayala Land, Inc.’s (ALI) contract to develop a property of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte had ordered the review for possible “onerous” provisions, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo told reporters on Thursday.
In a statement on Friday, CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III said he shares the concerns raised by the Commission on Audit (CoA), which observed that the lease contract for the UP-Ayala Land Technohub is “grossly disadvantageous to the government.”
“As a UP faculty member and former Vice President for Public Affairs, I share the concerns raised in the COA Report and look forward to a fair and impartial review,” he said.
The UP-Ayala Land TechnoHub is a joint development of the University of the Philippines Diliman and ALI.
Mr. Panelo earlier pointed out ALI is paying P22 per square meter (sq.m.) every month, based on an online source. ALI responded, saying it pays P171 per sq.m. a month.
Mr. De Vera said he will raise the issue at the UP Board of Regents on Feb. 3, encouraging the board to instruct all UP offices to provide necessary documents and interview individuals involved in transactions.
The TechnoHub contract is the second Ayala Group contract under review by the government, after Manila Water Co. Inc. The government plans to offer new contracts to Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services, Inc after reviewing the two water concessionaires for allegedly ”onerous” provisions in the previous ones. — Jenina P. Ibañez