Holy House Mercy (SCMM) President António José de Freitas said on Monday that the government had shown “no respect at all” to the charitable association when it suddenly announced that it would move its public notary office in the building to another private property.
Freitas made the angry re-marks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of attending a press conference for the annual charity event “Walk for a Million” which will take place on December 11th.
The Legal Affairs Bureau (DSAJ) is the current tenant of a ground-floor unit of UNESCO World Heritage protected building in Largo do Senado, which houses the First Public Notary Office.
It was previously reported by local media that the bureau would move from the building when its lease expires at the end of the year to the Northern District Integrated Services Centre Building, which the government reportedly leases from a private owner.
According to the reports, the bureau said the decision to move out was due to the high rent.
According to Freitas, his association only got to know about the impending move through a lawmaker.
Freitas also said that since the government’s official letter confirming the move in mid-July, it had never contacted the Holy House of Mercy about the matter.
According to previous media reports, the association first got wind of the move through media reports about a committee meeting of the legislature in mid-June.
“The whole process, the way they [government] has handled it, was very, very unreasonable, I think. They gave no respect to the Holy House of Mercy, no respect at all,” Freitas said, adding he did not find any logic in the government’s decision to move the notary office from its current property into another private property when the latter’s landlord had made it clear that it would only give the government a one-year contract.
“I totally don’t understand their [government’s] approach nor their decision,” Freitas said.
Freitas said the Holy House of Mercy currently leases its building to the Legal Affairs Bureau’s notary office for 1.2 million patacas a month, which was “cheap” considering its prime location.
According to Freitas, the rent for properties in the Largo do Senado area go as high as 10,000 patacas per square foot.
“We hope we can lease it out for at least 800,000 patacas. It’s reasonable and we need the money for our daily operation and activities,” he said, adding he expected at least three months without rental income from the unit as it would take time to find a new tenant to move in.(Macau News / The Macau post Daily)