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PIA Press Release

GSIS disposes of P30-million Davao property

Cagayan de Oro City (16 March) -- The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) recently added P30 million into its coffers with the sale of La Marbella, a four-storey hotel in Davao City. The property was sold to booming real estate developer Woodridge Properties, Inc. (WPI).

The hotel, an acquired asset of the GSIS, was turned over to the GSIS in August 2008 due to the failure of Metro Davao Agri-Hotel Corp. to settle an outstanding loan amounting P58.48 million.

Since the turn-over, the GSIS has been incurring an annual carrying cost of P450,000 to secure the property.

"The GSIS continues to dispose of non-performing assets (NPAs) to improve the cash position of the pension fund. This ultimately benefits our members and pensioners. We have been successful in unloading many big ticket accounts and with this, such assets are put to use and we are able to boost economic growth," GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia said.

WPI will re-open the hotel this year after undertaking several expansion plans, which includes increasing its capacity. The four-storey hotel has a land area of 410 square meters (sqm) and a floor area of 1,640 sqm. It currently has 38 rooms with amenities.

"WPI is currently diversifying thus our entry to the hotel and resort business. We saw the opportunity in La Marbella because its location is very strategic. It is located in J.P. Rizal which is downtown of Davao City," WPI President and Chief Executive Officer Ernesto T. Matugas said.

Founded in July 1997, WPI has developed more than 230,000 sqm of land and built more than 1,000 house and lot units for the middle income market. At present, it has P4 billion in new and upcoming projects and has a land bank of over 300,000 sqm.

WPI's main business is into middle-income residential development with several projects in Las Pinas and Cavite. With its diversification, the company is also developing a hotel in Las Pinas and is planning to operate the Puerto Azul Beach and Country Club, also an acquired asset of the GSIS.

"We have expressed our interest in operating Puerto Azul under the brand Best Western, which is an international hotel chain. We also continue to eye for other GSIS properties which we feel will highly contribute to the growth of our business," Matugas added.

The sale of La Marbella was concluded last week with Matugas, GSIS Senior Vice President for Asset Management Group Cecil L. Feleo, and other GSIS and WPI officials present during the turnover. (PIA) [top]

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