China’s Landing proceeds with $1.5-B integrated resort project

Published August 7, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

 

Shown (from left) during the ground breaking of the company’s $1.5-billion integrated casino-report project in Paranaque yesterday are: Landing International CFO David Hoon; Landing International CEO Jay Lee; Parañaque Rep. Eric Olivarez; Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez; Dr. Yang Zhihui, Chairman and Executive Director of Landing Group; Nayong Pilipino Foundation Chairperson Patricia Ocampo; Pagcor President and COO Alfred Lim; and Pagcor Chairperson Andrea Domingo.
Shown (from left) during the ground breaking of the company’s $1.5-billion integrated casino-report project in Paranaque yesterday are: Landing International CFO David Hoon; Landing International CEO Jay Lee; Parañaque Rep. Eric Olivarez; Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez; Dr. Yang Zhihui, Chairman and Executive Director of Landing Group; Nayong Pilipino Foundation Chairperson Patricia Ocampo; Pagcor President and COO Alfred Lim; and Pagcor Chairperson Andrea Domingo.

 

Amid President Duterte’s directive to cancel the lease contract and firing of the entire board of Nayong Pilipino Foundation on alleged “paltry sum” lease rates, the China-owned Landing International Development Limited yesterday stood on its ground saying the contract was legal and effective as officials proceeded with the groundbreaking ceremony and lowered the time capsule for its $1.5 billion investments that will convert a 9.5-hectare property at the Entertainment City into a Filipino-inspired iconic integrated resort and casino dubbed NayonLanding that promises to position the Philippines as world-class tourist destination with 10,000 employment mostly Filipino workforce when it opens in 2022.

Dr. Yang Zhihui, Chairman and Executive Director of Landing International, led the groundbreaking of NayonLanding resort project to be implemented by the group’s local subsidiary Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corp. (Landing Philippines).

“I would like to take this opportunity to show my sincere appreciation to Nayong Pilipino Foundation for your confidence in us and for giving us your overwhelming support to develop and operate a family-oriented integrated resort on this parcel of land, Pagcor for granting us a license to operate a casino, and City of Paranaque for the approval to operate an integrated leisure and entertainment resort and casino,” said Zhihhui in a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony.

In a statement to media after the ceremony, Landing International stood on its ground saying it is still pushing through with the project because its lease contract with NPF is still valid and effective for a period of 25 years from the date of execution of the contract of lease or for a period of 50 years upon approval by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

“From the Group’s view point, the recent decision of the Philippine Government to replace members of the NPF board of trustees did not affect the validity of the subject contract of lease,” Landing said.

Unless the lease contract is cancelled or nullified on legal grounds by the courts, Landing has reason to believe that it is a valid leaseholder and can legally proceed with its project.

Before Nayong Pilipino Foundation Chairman Patricia Ocampo delivered her speech, news broke out on social media about President Duterte’s firing of the entire board of Nayong Filipino and his order to cancel the contract awarded to Landing on alleged corruption involving “paltry sum” for a long- term lease contract. Ocampo delivered an impromptu and abrupt speech as she thanked Landing executives for their investments.

In a later statement, Ocampo said she will abide by President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to replace the foundation’s board of trustees and management team. She expressed regret that it has come to this.

At the same time, Ocampo denied accusations that the foundation’s board and management officials were involved in alleged graft over the lease contract.

“I strongly deny accusations that there was graft and corruption. On the contrary, the lease contract with Landing International Development Ltd. is above-board, and is highly advantageous to the government and to the Filipino people,” she said.

Ocampo also said that the term of lease for the project is for 25 years starting from the date of execution of the lease contract and not 70 years as alleged by critics.

Monthly rentals were pegged at P360 per square meters, and the advance rental amount was placed at P827.05 million.

On top of this, NPF will receive an additional monthly rental equivalent to 10% of net profits from the operations of its attractions and theme parks after taxes exclusive of the value added tax.
Despite the development, the ground ceremony was concluded with the laying of the time capsule for the controversial project.

During a press conference prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, Jay Lee, COO of Landing International and CEO of Landing Jeju Development Co. Ltd., which is also owned by Landing, explained that the ambitious development will be a showcase of the Philippine culture to the world.

 
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