SM Group, property tycoon Henry Sy’s conglomerate, won the bid for the Pasay City reclamation project with a P54.5-billion offer.
“We confirm that we have been issued a Notice of Award and signed a JVA [joint venture agreement]with Pasay City,” SM Group said in a statement on Friday.
A public notice in October posted by Pasay City Public Private Partnership Selection Committee said SM Land Inc. submitted an unsolicited proposal for the reclamation project, offering to develop the 300-hectare property located in the western part of Pasay for P54.5 billion.
SM Land offered to fully fund the project, including the costs of permits, clearances and other expenses for government and legal requirements.
Of the land that will be reclaimed, 153 hectares would be allotted to the Pasay City government of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA).
The project, which will be a joint venture between SM Land and Pasay City government, is targeted to finish within seven years.
Pasay City administrator Dennis Bernard Acorda gave other property developers until October 4 to match SM Land’s offer, under the Swiss Challenge system.
Property giant Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) was also interested in the project, and asked the Pasay government to extend the deadline by 60 days. Pasay rejected the request.
In an official statement released after SM Group was proclaimed the winning bidder for the challenge, ALI said it would have been more prudent for Pasay City to have taken time to study and address critical issues prior to the award, especially now that various groups have also expressed concerns on reclamation.
“It is unfortunate that Pasay City proceeded with the award despite numerous concerns expressed by various groups, particularly on the environmental impact of reclamation, and the questions we raised on the process that it followed,” said Bobby O. Dy, ALI Chief Operating Officer.
ALI said its position is consistent with Executive Order 146 which states that all reclamation projects will be approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and “shall undergo competitive public bidding consistent with the government’s thrust to promote transparency and competitiveness.”
MADELAINE B. MIRAFLOR