PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to a two-hectare land in Makati City’s central business district into a bankable project that will benefit military personnel.

In Administrative Order (AO) No. 21 dated Jan. 21 but released to the public only on Thursday, Mr. Duterte directed the BCDA to re-develop the “Mile Long” property, which was the subject of a dispute between the government and the land’s former tenant.

The income to be generated from the project will go to the retirement fund of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

“(T)he development of the Mile Long Property, considering its location in one of the country’s premiere business districts, will greatly contribute to the generation of revenues for priority programs of the government, including, among others, the pension program of military and uniformed personnel,” said Mr. Duterte in the AO.

Before it was claimed by the government, the Mile Long property was leased to Sunvar Realty Development Corp.

Mr. Duterte had expressed in 2017 his intention for the land to be more productive. The property is currently administered by the Privatization and Management Office (PMO).

The order states that the PMO and the BCDA should enter into an appropriate contractual agreement in order to administer and manage the property before its eventual disposition.

In terms of funding the development, the AO proposed “various modes of public-private partnership allowed by law.”

A technical working group will also be created to craft a privatization plan for the property. The group will be made up of representatives from BCDA, PMO, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the Bureau of the Treasury.

The DBM will be responsible for studying measures in the use of the funds generated by the development of the Mile Long property and allocate them to the pension programs of the AFP and the PNP and other priority government programs. — Gillian Cortez