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Philippines will sell properties in Japan only if necessary: Roque

Palace spokesperson Harry Roque made a statement after President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday that the government was selling properties, including those in Japan only if necessary, to augment the funds of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

The Philippines acquired four properties in Japan as part of the reparations agreement signed by the two countries in 1956. These are located in Roponggi and Nampeidai in Tokyo and Naniwa-cho and Obanoyama-cho in Kobe.

“Huwag po kayong mag-alala, dahil nga po sa Universal Healthcare Law, kung kulang po iyan ay tutustusan po galing sa kaban ng taumbayan. Kaya nga po, kung kinakailangan, ibibenta iyong mga properties na iyan,” Roque said in a televised briefing.

“Paninindigan po niya iyong obligasyon ng estado na pangalagaan ang kalusugan ng mga Pilipino. If it means having to sell assets, why not?” Roque added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Roponggi property whose first floor and part of the basement are currently used as offices of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is already subject to the 1997 Development Agreement and would only be reverted to the Philippine government in 2047.

The department also said that the Naniwa-cho and Obanoyama-cho properties in Kobe prefecture could not be sold due to the 2005 Service and Development Agreement (SDA), which provides that the possession of property will only revert to the Philippine government in 2058.

According to the DFA that the Nampeidai property, meanwhile, is still subject of a pending case before the SC. - GMA NEWS


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