SEVENTY-year-old widow Dr. Perlita C. Basa is distraught and wants the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to act to alleviate her suffering.
“I am not asking for favors,” she told Subic Bay News, “I only ask that Lyceum of Subic be compelled to comply with the terms of its agreement with SBMA to pay the back wages of the displaced former employees of American International School (AIS).”
Along with several other AIS employees, former AIS principal Basa, a retired Schools Division Superintendent, were assured by then outgoing SBMA Chairman & Administrator Roberto V. Garcia that payment of their back wages would be part of the conditions that Lyceum of Subic must comply with in the award to take over the 3.6 hectare facility in Upper Cubi, Subic Bay Freeport.
While Garcia reneged on his promise to ensure that all displaced employees are paid, he did cause to include in the contract with Alfonso Borda, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Lyceum of Subic, that AIS employees who stayed on to finish the school year be paid their back wages.
However, almost a year has lapsed but not only has Lyceum of Subic failed to pay the some P1M back wages of the displaced AIS former employees, it has also not been paying its obligations to the SBMA, both for the former AIS campus in Upper Cubi and its original campus in the Freeport’s Central Business District (CBD) near Harbor Point Mall.
On June 2016, SBMA Deputy Administrator (DA) for Legal Affairs Randy B. Escolango wrote Borda to remind him of the Special Provisions of its Lease Agreement with the SBMA.
“…the LESSEE hereby undertakes to ensure the payment of backwages of employees of the former American International School who stayed and continued to work in the educational institution within sixty (60) days from turn over of the leased property,” Escolango reminded Borda, quoting the Lease Agreement.
On August 2016, Amabelle Lyn F. Saclao, account officer, reported that Lyceum of Subic “has failed to deliver its commitments and comply with the special provisions” of its contracts, particularly its Lease Agreement and Amendment at Lot 73, CBD, commencing October 2015 and March 2016, respectively, and Lease Agreement at the former Legenda Suites that include several buildings and facilities on the former hotel and resort turned school facility by AIS, commencing February 4, 2016.
SBMA records show Lyceum of Subic has a total unpaid obligations amounting to some P20M as of March 2017.
During the first meeting in January 2017 of the new SBMA Board of Directors led by Chairman Martin B. Diño and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, the top delinquent active locators of the Subic Freeport was scheduled to be taken up.
Aside from Lyceum of Subic, the list included another school with two campuses in the Freeport, The Manila Times College of Subic, Inc. and The Manila Times School of Journalism, Inc. with unpaid obligations of P41M and P29M, respectively, as of end of Dec. 2016. Both figures are reportedly being contested by The Manila Times.
Garcia terminated the Lease Contract of Global Daeil Subic, Inc., operator of AIS, even with a much lesser unpaid obligation, around P13M, despite the fact that the Korean company has advanced rentals and security deposits that was, more or less, enough to cover the debt.
Eisma has told Subic Bay News that SBMA will address the issue on all delinquent locators, not merely the cases of Lyceum of Subic and The Manila Times.
To date, however, the SBMA Board and Administration has yet to really act on the delinquent locators, especially on the case of Lyceum.
Lyceum has not responded to messages seeking its comment or clarification.
Meanwhile, in her twilight, Dr. Basa, and her fellow displaced former AIS employees’ hopes of ever collecting from Lyceum of Subic continue to diminish. ###