Ayala Land opposes SM’s Manila Bay project
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Property giant Ayala Land Inc. and S&P Construction Technology and Development Co. Inc. yesterday formalized their opposition to the joint venture between SM Land Inc. of retail magnate Henry Sy and the Pasay City government on the proposed 300-hectare Manila Bay reclamation project.

Lawyers of both Ayala Land and S&P Construction asked the city council to step in as both companies opposed the manner by which the city government’s public-private partnership selection committee (PPP-SC) is looking for a proponent of the massive reclamation project.

Ayala Land external affairs head Dindo Fernando said in a public hearing that the basis used in setting the deadline for finding a partner for the project, which is the 2008 National Economic and Development Authority Joint Venture (NEDA JV) Guidelines, was already old and a new set of guidelines have been issued.

Fernando pointed out that the Nov. 4 deadline for the submission of competing bids for the SM Land proposal does not comply with the newer 2013 NEDA JV Guidelines, which took effect in May and gives interested parties 120 calendar days to submit their proposal.

He said the PPP-SC denied the 60-day extension being sought by Ayala Land in its Oct. 29 letter.

Fernando added that the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) said no approval has been given for the Pasay reclamation project.

Details, details

Pasay District 2 Councilor Arwin Tolentino said Ayala Land should have come up with a more detailed presentation of their opposition of the way PPP-SC was looking for a proponent for the project and of how the firm “would develop the land subject to reclamation.”

Fernando said Ayala Land was only invited to the hearing and was not informed that it was supposed to make a presentation.

“One month is simply just not enough to come up with a proposal. We would like to appeal again to this honorable council to consider our request not only to extend the deadline but also to make changes,” he added.

According to him, Ayala Land is partnering with a European company with experience in massive reclamation projects worldwide.

Markk Perete, lawyer of S&P Construction, made a detailed presentation on the company’s opposition of the way PPP-SC was selecting a partner and asked the Pasay City council to restart the selection process.

Perete said the NEDA Guidelines could not be used as the basis for looking for a proponent for the project as these does not cover local government units (LGUs). He added that the process is also not covered by Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

According to him, RA 6957 or the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law should govern the project being undertaken by the LGU.

“The BOT Law provides procedure and rules to be followed in accepting and approving unsolicited proposals,” Perete added.

Perete also questioned the sharing agreement, pointing out that the Supreme Court has struck down a joint venture agreement between the Public Estates Authority (now the PRA) and Amari Coastal Bay Development Corp. giving a private corporation ownership of reclaimed lands.


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