The Negros Occidental provincial government is thoroughly reviewing the management contract of the Negros First CyberCentre in order to find ways to improve the position of the province. Former Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who currently serves as Negros Occidental consultant for investment and economic enterprise, revealed the province is not earning from the facility after management was turned over to a private company.
“We are in discussions right now,” he said. “Our hands are tied because they have a long-term contract [and] only a few years have been consumed from the contract.”
“We are in discussions [on] what can be done to improve the stake [for] the province,” he added.
The former lawmaker said another meeting on the contract will be held next week.
The Negros First CyberCentre was constructed as an “ideal and conducive environment” to set up business process outsourcing officers, or call centers.
A joint venture between the provincial government and the Negros Property Management Development Corporation was signed on March 22, 2016 creating Negros First CyberCentre Joint Venture Enterprise, who would manage operations.
Last November, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the income generated from the Negros First Cybercentre was not enough to pay the monthly amortization on the loan borrowed to fund construction of the facility.
During the administration of former Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr., the Cybercentre was projected to generate an annual gross rental income of about P90 million. However, according to provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, income from the facility went from P1.7 million in 2016 to P9 million in 2018. Last year, the facility was expected to earn P14 million.
Construction came at a cost of P620 million with a P243.63 million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines; along with an additional P170 million spent on the second phase./DGB, WDJ