City, GSIS settle legal rift over convention center for P200M

by Isagani S. Liporada

 BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) chief Robert Vergara last week inked a settlement effecting transfer of the Baguio Convention Center (BCC) from GSIS to the city government of Baguio for P200,185,880.05.

This compromise was penned by Municipal Trial Court Branch 1 presiding Judge Robert Mabalot, ending a possible long-drawn legal battle that would mean more ‘cash out’ than ‘in’ for both quarters.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan and City Legal Office chief Melchor Carlos Rabanes went to Manila October 7, to meet with top GSIS officials.

In the four-page judgment upon compromise presented by Domogan during the ‘Ugnayan’ presser hosted by DZEO last week, it was revealed the city via the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) recently tendered P60 million.

On top of this, GSIS condoned P50 million in interests aside from city-overpaid premiums in 1996 and 1997 totaling to P7.8 million, leaving a total of P200,185,888.05 in debts the city owed GSIS.

With the signing of the compromise agreement, Baguio extended the entire balance of P200,185,880.05 by way of a Landbank check dated August 11 and in return GSIS issued a Deed of Absolute Sale naming Baguio as owner of the BCC.

The BBC buy was initially for P250 million which, by contract among the city, GSIS, and BCDA, was supposed to be paid from the city’s 25-percent share from the lease of Camp John Hay (CJH).

The Baguio government sourced out the entire balance from its own coffers and appropriated the same by virtue of Ordinance 25-2011.

In his decision, Mabalot wrote: “[The] compromise agreement likewise settles all other claims and counterclaims of the parties… including the claim of the city government of Baguio for overpayment for the premiums for the years 1996 to 1997.”#