French luxury hotel brand Sofitel
The “notice to vacate” was due to Sofitel’s non-payment of monthly land rental for 25 long years which is now estimated to have reached P101 million.
GSIS management argued that though Sofitel was able to pay the P9 million monthly rental for its building, the hotel did not pay its dues for other properties like the Japanese restaurant, parking space and tennis court among other amenities.
“Itong mga bagay bagay na to hindi kami binabayaran ng mga utang nila talagang nakaka irita ito at hindi nakakatulong sa aming sitwasyon ito, lumalala ang problema namin,” said Atty. Jesus Clint Aranas, President and General Manager of GSIS.
In a statement, Atty. Dianne Christie Rosacia, the legal counsel of Philippine Plaza Holdings Inc.,which operates Sofitel said, “PPHI has been complying with all its contractual obligations to GSIS, including the payment of rent.”
Rosacia added that, “The controversy concerns only two small lots, and not the hotel itself or the land where it stands. There is no reason for the controversy to affect hotel operations in any way.”
Sofitel has until May 13 to pay its dues otherwise the hotel will be compelled to vacate the land as stated on the notice issued by GSIS. Also, the government insurance company will defer its plans to file a lawsuit against Sofitel should it complies with GSIS’ demand.
GSIS is increasing its collections to further sustain its fund life.
The government insurance agency will also look into other tenants in nearly 60 of its properties to check for non-payment of rentals.
“I will tell you, I will assure you na since na identify ko na yan, unti unti na yan. I have started the engine already, and this will steam roll. Right now I don’t have the figures pero lugi kami,” Aranas said.
Aside from large establishments, there are also around 12,000 smaller establishments that have outstanding arrears from GSIS. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News
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