BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is expected to assume the management of the P617 million Negros First Cyber Center in Bacolod City in January, after the termination of the Joint Venture Agreement between the Capitol and the Negros Property Management and Development Corp. (NPMDC).
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday that there has already been a meeting of minds between the provincial government and the NPMDC in dissolving the partnership and turning over the contracts and the management of the cyber center to the province.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier issued a notice to terminate the JVA, after he was given authority by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental to negotiate the termination of the contract, that Diaz had described as “one-sided”.
Diaz said Lacson has designated former solon and now provincial consultant, Alfredo Benitez, to lead a team that will represent the provincial government in negotiating with the NPMDC, for the smooth transfer of cyber center management to the provincial government, that he expects to be completed within this month.
“By January 1, if all things go well, and we will come to an agreement, then it will be the province that will manage the cyber center,” he added.
In his letter to NPMDC chairperson Salvador Enriquez Jr., Lacson said the provincial government is terminating the JVA for being grossly disadvantageous to the economic interests of the provincial government for more than four years since the JVA was implemented.
Diaz said yesterday that the P14 million per year payment of NDPMC to the provincial government in the last two years, was not enough for its loan amortization with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
He added that the province wants to continue the operations of the cyber center, even only for an initial breakeven income, in order to cover the loan amortization it has been paying.
As stipulated in the JVA, the minimum annual remittances of NPMDC is 20 percent of the gross revenues, but not less than P15 million. If the provincial government will operate it, through its Economic Enterprise Development Department, Diaz said it will earn more, noting that the province already has a guaranteed P15 million income annually at the same time, and will generate jobs for Negrenses.*