Sale of kidney institute 1.63-ha lot to SM stoppedBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The sale of a 1.63-hectare property, part of the 5.5-ha compound of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City, to real property giant SM Development Corp. (SMDC) has been stopped after the hospital management reached an agreement with the National Housing Authority (NHA) to resume negotiations for the property.
Officials of the NKTI and NHA confirmed that the P783-million deal with SMDC was scuttled following a meeting with representatives of the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the National Economic Development Authority last month.
No one from SMDC or the Quezon City government, which is pushing for the multibillion-peso development of its new business district, was in the meeting.
“The sale is stopped. The land is within NKTI’s jurisdiction and our operations are unhampered. As to the exact details of the agreement I cannot yet tell you,” said Jose Dante Dator, NKTI deputy executive director for medical services.
He said the case remained sensitive, and until all the technical and legal paper work was threshed out, he could not divulge the details of the agreement.
An NHA official, who asked not to be named for not having clearance to speak on the subject, said the DBM “basically agreed to shoulder NKTI’s purchase of the property,” but the deal was still being worked out. The official said the meeting took place before the Christmas break.
The land dispute involves two parcels, one comprising 8,402 square meters and the other 7,932 sq. m., inside the NKTI compound on East Avenue and Elliptical Road fronting the Quezon Memorial Circle.
Over the past 28 years, the NKTI has been negotiating with the NHA to get the title for the entire lot spanning 55,599 sq. m. or 5.56 ha.
The NHA was asking the NKTI to pay the market value of about P45,000-P50,000 per square meter, but the latter argued it did not have the means to do so. NKTI proposed instead to pay in terms of medical services to NHA workers.
SMDC: No problem
But the hospital management cried foul after it found out that the NHA had bid out the property, which SMDC won.
In a statement, SMDC said: “No problem with us! The background is, some months back, there was an ad in the papers for bidding of the property and, like the real estate developers, we participated and won.”
The NHA official said the housing agency and the NKTI were trying to work out a “win-win” solution.
“The NHA wants to be paid for the land, while the NKTI wants to obtain ownership of the land. So with this deal, both agencies get what they want,” the official said. With a report from Doris Dumlao