MANILA — Members of the Social Security System (SSS) expressed their indignation on the possible loss of the 7.5-ha property of the state-run pension fund in Pasay City following an unexpected court order for SSS to vacate the area.
During the celebration of the nationwide Pensioners’ Day on Friday, the Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of the Philippines (FESCAP) reacted strongly in opposition to the move of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to sequester a part of the SSS property in Pasay City.
Of the total property area, NGCP eyed the 6.08-ha part of the land for the construction of their Pasay 230kV Substation Project allegedly aimed at improving its power quality and system reliability.
“There are technicalities in that issue, however, for the benefit of the elders, there should be a consideration that the land should remain a property of SSS. It is only fair that SSS pursues its plan in developing the area because it will provide a lifetime of assistance to its pensioners and members,” said FESCAP President Jorge Banal during a meeting with Social Security Commission (SSC) Chairman Amado D. Valdez.
The disputed SSS property located at the Financial Center Area along Diokno Ave. in Pasay City is earmarked for the construction of the SSS Corporate Center of the South, adjacent to the office of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) that houses the Senate of the Philippines.
The property sought for expropriation is also currently leased by the Senate for its fire station, parking space and lodging space for its personnel.
The SSS legal team pointed out that the expropriation of the land by the NGCP was unintended as it was not included in the long-term development plan of the latter.
“It was not clearly shown why it was chosen considering there are other privately-owned vacant lots in the area,” Valdez said.
“They [NGCP] did not even submit a feasibility study as to the construction of their Pasay Substation Project in that area. Their complaint for expropriation was highly irregular considering that the property sought to be sequestered is owned by government,” Valdez added.
SSS also noted that the project’s associated transmission line in the FCA is likely to have a negative aesthetic effect on existing government offices and on most people working in the area.
SSS bought the property from Public Estate Authority for Php 1.12 billion in 1993. PR/PNA-northboundasia.com