AMID the threat of SM Land Inc. to sue the Pasay City government, Mayor Antonino Calixto is set to meet with the city council to thresh out disagreements over the controversial 300-hectare reclamation project.
Pasay City spokesperson Jonathan Malaya on Friday said that Calixto is committed to find common ground with the city council, after it recalled the project which was awarded to SM Land by the city’s Public-Private Partnership-Selection Committee (PPP-SC).
“The mayor is committed to continuous dialogue with the council because apparently some of the issues raised by the councilors arose from misinformation,” he said.
Malaya added that the mayor’s meeting with the city council aims “to thresh out the issues raised by the councilors in Resolution 3059 and to find how both parties can move forward.”
The Pasay City council has unanimously approved an eight-page resolution withdrawing the award of the Manila Bay reclamation project to SM Land, citing several flaws that need to be addressed by the city government.
Based on Resolution 3059, the city council recalled all resolutions issued for the raw reclamation and horizontal development of 300 hectares of off-shore and in-shore parts of Manila Bay.
“While we maintain that the joint venture agreement between the city and SM is already a perfected and legal document, we don’t wish to send mixed signals to would-be investors, thus the mayor is leading the way or taking the initiative to resolve the matter,” said Malaya.
Pasay City Councilor Allan Panaligan, chairman of the Committee on Land Use and member of the PPP-SC, said that the “flaws” in the process of awarding the project to SM Land was the main reason why the council recalled the project.
But the city government maintained that the project was legal and supported by all stakeholders.
“Indeed, this project has support from all stakeholders and from various sectors. Thus, there is common ground as starting point for discussion,” Malaya said.
He said that the councilors still support the project since it will drive the city’s development.
“We welcome the statement made by some of the councilors that, to begin with, they support the mayor’s reclamation project since its crucial for Pasay’s development,” he added.
Malaya expressed belief that any differences brought about by the reclamation project will be resolved immediately.
“At the end of the day, we believe that both the mayor and the councilors have the best interests of the city of Pasay at heart, thus we are confident and hopeful that this matter will be resolved soon,” he said.