THE Social Security System (SSS) and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) met on Tuesday to discuss alternatives in place of the move of the latter to expropriate the 6.5-ha property of the state-run pension fund in Pasay City.
Social Security Commission (SSC) Chairman Amado D. Valdez said he was grateful to the officials of NGCP who agreed to look into other properties for the construction of their Pasay 230kV Substation Project in the area.
Among alternative sites suggested were the Film Center Site, part of the SM investment properties adjacent to the SSS property, and proposed reclamation of the surrounding areas.
“More than anything else, the welfare of our members and pensioners are our primary concern. We want what is best for them and we will ensure that their rights are protected,” said Valdez.
The SSS earlier filed a petition through the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) questioning the propriety of the complaint for expropriation by NGCP against the property of SSS located in Diokno Ave in Pasay City.
The OGCC, which is the principal and statutory law office of government-owned-and-controlled corporations, filed a petition to maintain the status quo and at the same time, stop the execution of the order of the lower court directing the SSS to vacate the property.
According to OGCC Head Atty. Rodulf Philip B. Jurado, SSS has a strong case against NGCP since their act of expropriating the property of SSS is in excess of the delegated authority granted to them to exercise the power of eminent domain.
The petition questions the authority of the NGCP to expropriate government properties already devoted for public use since their power of eminent domain is only limited to private properties.
The disputed SSS property is located at the Financial Center Area at Diokno Ave. in Pasay City and is earmarked for the construction of the SSS Corporate Center of the South, adjacent to the office of the Government Services Insurance System (GSIS) which houses the Senate of the Philippines.
“To be able to take government properties already devoted for public use, it requires a specific grant by the national legislature and such authority was not given to NGCP,” Valdez said.