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GSIS gives Sofitel operator until May to pay back rentals for 2 lots

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 06:30 PM April 23, 2018
Sofitel Philippine Plaza

In this photo, taken Nov. 14, 2015, a military helicopter hovers over Sofitel Hotel where US President Barrack Obama was expected to stay during the APEC Summit. (File photo by MARIANNE BERMUDEZ / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The Government Service Insurance System is giving the operator of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila until next month to settle P101.6 million in unpaid rentals for two lots it is allegedly illegally using or else be booted out from the properties.

In a press conference, Jesus Clint O. Aranas, president and general manager, said the state-run pension fund had already sent Philippine Plaza Holding Inc. a notice to vacate dated April 13, as the company has no lease contract with the GSIS for lots 19 and 41, which the hotel is currently using as valet parking space, site of cistern tanks and cooling tower, as well as a tennis court.

Aranas said that these two lots were not included in the existing 25-year lease contract until 2041 signed on June 24, 2016 between the GSIS and PPHI for lots 30-A and 30-B, where Sofitel stands.

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READ: Firm that owns Sofitel Philippine Plaza denies reports of unpaid rent to GSIS

Even in the previous contracts between 1991 and 2016, lots 19 and 41 were not included in the premises leased by PPHI, Aranas added.

According to Aranas, PPHI still owes the GSIS nearly P101.6 million, or P1.2 million a month, based on current market values, for the period 1993 to 2016.

The current market value of lot 19 is P384 million, while lot 41 is valued P362.7 million, a GSIS fact sheet showed.

But PPHI, in a letter to the GSIS dated April 11, 2017, claimed that lots 19 and 41 were covered by the lease and renewal contracts, while proposing to increase by either P3 million or 14 percent the minimum annual rental.

The GSIS said that it was “not amenable” to PPHI’s proposal, as the options “[do] not have any impact on the annual rental collection from PPHI, since 5 percent of GOR [gross operating revenue] that we have been receiving is higher than either proposals of PPHI,” citing that the average monthly rent was about P9.1 million.

“Either option does not even represent at least 1 percent to the 2017 commercial market value of lots 19 and 41.

On Oct. 6 last year, the GSIS told PPHI that the two options presented by the company had “very low returns” which would not be “financially advantageous” to the pension fund.

The GSIS instead sought a monthly lease rate of P240 per square meter, or P1.8 million per month, with escalation similar to those of lots 30-A and 30-B, as well as back rentals amounting P80.7 million. /atm

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TAGS: back rentals, GSIS, Jesus Aranas, PPHI, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
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