Dissolve gov't firm in lease deal with Chevron, says finance dept

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2020 01:16 PM

MANILA - The Department of Finance said Wednesday it recommended the shutdown of a state investment firm to allow the government to have full ownership of a 120-hectare Batangas property leased to Chevron Philippines Inc.

The Department of Finance had flagged as "onerous" alleged "minuscule" rent paid by Chevron Philippines to Batangas Land Co Inc a subsidiary of the National Development Co or NDC.

"These properties (including the Batangas property) should have been turned over to the Government as early as the 1970s, not only legally speaking but, more importantly, based on the principle that these properties should truly benefit the Filipino people,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, an NDC board member, said in a statement.

Dominguez said shutting down the subsidiary would allow the government to exercise “full ownership, control, and rights over” the land and other real estate properties occupied by Chevron.

Chevron, formerly known as Caltex Philippines, uses the property as an oil import terminal.

The DOF claimed that Chevron has been paying a monthly rent of P0.74 per square meter for a 120-hectare property in Batangas province, compared to the current "fair market value" of P17.90 per square meter.

The property should now be valued at over P5 billion, the DOF said.