BCDA clarifies ‘questionable deals’ and other issues Banal brought up
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority would like to clarify Conrado R. Banal III’s allegations regarding the Authority’s “questionable deals” and other compensation and budget issues (“Off the beaten tax,” Business, 7/28/16).
Specifically, Banal said: “The Bases Conversion and Development Authority management was said to be hurrying the disposal of two prime properties.”
May we clarify. Due to the ongoing transition in government, all dispositions are put on hold until the new administration is briefed on BCDA’s programs, projects, plans, issues and concerns. In fact, all new dispositions will be subject to the initial review and subsequent approval of President Duterte.
As regards the issue of BCDA’s so-called “exemption” from the Salary Standardization Law, its salaries and benefits are based on Republic Act No. 7227 (or the Bases Conversion and Development Act which created the BCDA) and RA 10149 or the “GOCC Governance Act” (which regulates the compensation packages of GOCCs).
Further, contrary to his statement that “BCDA never had to submit to anybody, for review and approval, any semblance of operating budget,” please be informed that pursuant to existing guidelines, BCDA’s budget has always been submitted to the Department of Budget and Management and the Governance Commission on Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations. Pursuant to National Budget Circular No. 542 which reiterates Section 93 of the General Appropriations Act on transparency seal, BCDA’s annual corporate budget is published in the BCDA website.
Furthermore, BCDA is subject to the scrutiny and independent review of the Commission on Audit (COA). It is worth mentioning that the COA has given its unqualified opinion on BCDA’s financial statements for the last five years.
To answer Banal’s query regarding the source of BCDA’s initial capitalization, RA 7227 provided for the initial capitalization and funding scheme for BCDA’s operations from the disposition of military lands under its stewardship.
For lease and joint venture transactions, BCDA gets a 50-percent share—not 75 percent as stated—while the other 50 percent share goes to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. For sale transactions,
BCDA gets 27.5 percent, while 35 percent goes to the AFP, and the rest goes to 14 beneficiary agencies, among them, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippine National Police, Supreme Court, National Housing Authority, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and the local governments of Pateros, Taguig and Makati.
BCDA has been true to its development mandate and has been a consistent revenue-generator for government, earning a total P72.7 billion for its beneficiaries, including the AFP Modernization Program, local government units and other government projects since its inception in 1992.
We hope this clarifies Banal’s concerns and puts the matter in its proper perspective.
—ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA, president and CEO, Bases Conversion and Development Authority
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