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ALI welcomes COA review

- Zinnia B. Dela Peña () - April 14, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) said yesterday it welcomes the review being conducted by the Commission on Audit and expects favorable results that will allow it to finally jumpstart the development of the P6-billion Capitol Civic Center in Negros Occidental.

The COA is currently reviewing the lease and purchase contract between the provincial government and ALI with respect to a 7.7-hectare prime property in Bacolod City to ensure that the transaction is advantageous to the government.

The review was trigerred by legal issues raised by rival bidder SM Prime Holdings Inc.

“Ayala Land welcomes the review of contracts being done by the Commission on Audit as it ensures transparency in transactions involving government properties,” said Jaime E. Ysmael, senior vice-president and chief finance officer of ALI.

“We are looking forward to favorable results given that ALI had complied with all the bidding procedures and documentary requirements prescribed for the transaction,” he added.

The COA’s re-appraisal committee was given 15 days to submit its report on the actual re-appraisal made on the properties that are subject to sale and lease to ALI.

The COA approval on the said contract is a vital requirement before the project is implemented.

The Provincial Bids and Awards Committee has not disclosed the floor price for the property to ensure they get a better deal.

SM Prime had questioned the deal, insisting it won in the second bidding held in July 2011 because it offered a higher bid price than ALI.

Patrick Bayhon, external counsel to SM Prime, argued that the COA had not approved a “floor price” for the property that the provincial government used as a basis to declare the re-bidding a failure and eventually award the property to ALI.

Meanwhile, Ysmael said the company has decided to focus its plans and resources on Ayala Northpoint, another ongoing mixed-use development a few kilometers away from the controversial property.

“This reflects our continuing commitment of the people of Negros, which we have reiterated in our letter to the governor,” Ysmael said.

The Capitol Civic Center will be an integrated mixed-use civic and commercial district that is envisioned to be the growth center of Metro Bacolod and Negros Occidental.

The project will have retail, office, residential and hotel components.

ALI AYALA LAND AYALA LAND INC AYALA NORTHPOINT BACOLOD CITY CAPITOL CIVIC CENTER JAIME E METRO BACOLOD AND NEGROS OCCIDENTAL NEGROS OCCIDENTAL PATRICK BAYHON YSMAEL
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