On the issue of the planned sale of military camps, namely, Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame, Rep. Winnie Castelo of 2nd District, Quezon City expressed his optimism that at this point in time, it will be wise for government to sell and have these public assets privatized with the end in view of using the proceeds for big-ticket development projects.
“Barring any proof of the historical value of these military camps, I am of the opinion that government will be much better off with these reservations being now sold to the private sector in order to transform Quezon City into not just a potential ‘growth pole’ in this part of the country but a mega-city, first and foremost”, the solon said. According to him, bias should always be for growth than what constitutes ‘opportunity losses’ based on current land use.
The QC solon claims that there is actually a plan to develop Quezon City as an emerging vibrant ‘business capital’ of the Philippines. In fact, he said a mega-city can have an international airport. Thus, Castelo said, “Over the long period of time that these public lands have been occupied exclusively for purely military purpose, the cost of land per square meter must have appreciated tremendously that the government should not deprive itself of the wide-ranging prospects the private sector proponents may have over the use of these camps into business, commercial, or industrial in order to make immediate impact in our national economy”, the administration lawmaker pointed out.
nThe congressman likewise added, “If the terms of negotiations as to whether these camps with a combined area of over 200 hectares and an assumed value of about P55 billion are not yet decided, I tend to think that it is high time to start privatization maybe on a piecemeal basis, first the smaller 41 hectare police reservation then later the 178 hectare military camp”.
In making this statement, Castelo strongly believes that the private sector has always been the engine of growth precisely because it is in the best position to provide goods and services at highly satisfactory levels than public sector can provide because of the profits which are not the concern of government but public service.
“Simple cost-benefit analysis will always point us to the fact sometimes we don’t have to use our ‘bureaucratic or political lenses’ but should always take into account the higher objective of allocating resources and delivering on our social service programs. In short, we look at what have long been given up in favor of the unproductive use of these areas for purely military or police purposes”, Castelo finally quipped. 30