By: Darwin G. Amojelar, InterAksyon.com November 25, 2013 6:13 PM
MANILA - Two companies have asked the Pasay City Council to overhaul the bidding procedures for a project to reclaim more land from Manila Bay.
In a public hearing today, representatives of Ayala Land Inc (ALI) and S&P Construction Technology and Development Co Inc asked the council to reconsider their alternative proposals to reclaim and develop 300 hectares of land at the western part of the city.
Markk Perete, legal counsel for S&P Constrction -- which is a unit of China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd -- said what the company is asking for is "not actually an extension," but an overhaul.
"What we are saying is that the process is wrong. So, kailangan simulan sa simula; otherwise we would be party to an irregular procedure. How we can come out a counter proposal if we can't understand the nature of the project," Perete said.
"What we want to achieve this afternoon is that there are gross irregularities in the process," he said.
Dindo R. Fernando, Ayala Land legal counsel, asked the council to reconsider the company's appeal for the local government to review its rules on how other parties can challenge the SM group's unsolicited proposal to reclaim more land from Manila Bay.
"We would like to appeal again, not only to the Mayor but also the Pasay City Council to consider our request to look at the possible holes and possible set of law, so that the company will participate in the bidding," Fernando said.
"What we would like is to make the process for the selection by Pasay as open as competitive and public as possible," he added.
Fernando said the Public Private Partnership-Selection Committee (PPP-SC) should follow the 2013 Joint Venture Guidelines of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), instead of the old version. The 2013 version of the NEDA rules allow for a longer period of 120 days for challengers to submit counter proposals.
The Pasay City earlier turned down Ayala Land's request for 60 more working days to submit a counter proposal, citing the 2008 Joint Venture Guidelines of the NEDA -- the same set of rules used in an earlier reclamation project.
A public notice last October showed SM Land filing an unsolicited proposal with the Pasay City PPP-SC for a joint venture that would reclaim and develop 300 hectares of land from Manila Bay.
- The project would be completed within seven years from the LGU’s issuance of the notice to proceed.
Pasay City is also seeking competing proposals from companies that have undertaken similar projects of no less than 120 hectares, preferably in the Manila Bay area.
The LGU also requires competing proponents to each have a minimum net worth of P50 billion.
The SM group developed the Mall of Asia complex, which sits on reclaimed land also in Pasay City. The complex includes SM’s second biggest mall, a sports arena, a convention center, a businessman’s hotel, office buildings and housing condos.
Also rising near the property is state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp's Entertainment City project, envisioned to give gambling hubs Macau and Las Vegas a run for their money.