Duterte raises idea of selling Philippine properties in Japan

President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned during his September 28 talk to nation that the government is eyeing to sell Philippine government properties in Japan.

“Itong PhilHealth, I am going to propose to Congress to abolish the… Kung i-privatize mo naman, susmaryosep, walang pera. Sino insurance mo…? Huwag mo sabihin ng mga kapitalista sa insurance: Kami ang magbayad? Wala kayong pondo,” President Duterte said.

“That is why we are selling properties. That is the reason why we are selling properties, real estate properties in Japan because we have to raise money. Wala nang pambayad ‘yang sa PhilHealth na ‘yan kung… Kaya walang ibang remedy diyan. It must be a surgical move. Talagang… Kung hindi, paalisin ko sans the itong mga Civil-Civil Service,” he added.

“Create a new agency out of that — out of the ruins of that old one. Hindi — hindi na puwede, Secretary Duque. Hindi na puwede na itong mga tao na ito they are already entrenched na. Wala, walang mangyari. Talagang either I’m going to revamp, consider everybody resigned there and if there’s the structure, we can slowly… And ‘yung i-disband ‘yung ibang ano. Just a simple — I mean as simple as it could ever be. That’s what I mean,” the President said.

However, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said “to raise funds to fight Covid don’t sell Japan properties. Sell corrupt and incompetent health officials in the slave markets of North Africa. Although nearly worthless if we sell them all we’ll raise a bit. I think. Sell the authors of the bill.”

“I will never agree to the sale of our properties in Japan for any reason. Sell the properties of the departments of budget, treasury, health above all for its lousy response to Covid,” Secretary Locsin said. “Sell the properties of our line departments. Many idle ones.”

“I don’t mean the secretaries. The properties are idle. Imagine selling our Japan properties to fund the programs of DOH? Rob PhilHealth some more instead. They’re good at that. Sell San Lazaro. Sell RITM,” he added.

Under House Bill N. 1921, proposing for “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF ARREARS IN THE VETERANS PENSIONS AND BENEFITS MANDATED PURSUANT TO REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7696, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS AN ACT STANDARDIZING AND UPGRADING THE BENEFITS FOR MILITARY VETERANS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR”, properties given by the Japanese government to the Philippine government under the Reparations Agreement, including the Roppongi, Nampeidei, and Fujimi properties in Tokyo, and the Noniwacho and Obanoyama properties in Kobe are among the properties eyed to be leased, developed or used to help fund the pension and benefits of veterans and military retirees.