Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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COA: Where’s AFP’s revenue from SM Aura lease?

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) did not benefit from the lease of an 18,975-square meter portion of Fort Bonifacio to build SM Aura Premiere Hall, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

In its 2017 annual audit report, the COA said the AFP was effectively bypassed and deprived of its share of revenue, because the property was donated by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to the Taguig City government.

The city, in turn, leased out the property to SM Prime Holdings, Inc., even as the January 2008 donation was meant for the establishment of local government centers, sports facilities and parks.

The COA said the Taguig City government should adhere by the goal of Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 to finance the AFP modernization program through the privatization of military properties.

Auditors said the AFP, the BCDA, and the city’s representatives should settle the issue and “resolve what is fair for the AFP without resorting to tedious and expensive legal battle.”

“Giving the fair share of the AFP is indispensable amidst the current events besetting the country,” the report stated.

However, the BCDA said the donation of the land to the city government meant the AFP was no longer entitled to receive its rightful share of the revenue. Otherwise, the city’s “proprietary rights” would be violated.

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