By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) Updated June 05, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - The government expects the sale of its Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) property in Taguig to still push through this year despite snags it had faced in the sale of the asset the past years.
Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said the government is still in talks with a private investor interested in the property.
Both parties, he said, are still threshing out details regarding the transaction including the price of the asset.
However, Teves said, he cannot provide details yet until the interested party discloses its proposal to the public next week.
Government sources said one issue is the price of the property which has already been lowered to attract investors.
From a previous valuation of P15.9 billion in 2009, the property is now for sale for only P7.5 billion to P9 billion.
For the second time this year, the government has decided to lower the price of the agro-industrial property on hopes that it would finally be able to attract buyers for the prime asset.
In early February, the government also decided to lower the selling price of the property to P10 billion to P9 billion from a previous estimate of P13 billion.
Sources said the property has been offered to giant developers including the Ayala Group, Robinson’s Land and Henry Sy’s SM Development Corp.
FTI is a 120-hectare agro-industrial commercial estate in Taguig. It was originally built to be a food processing and consolidation center for agricultural products. It houses more than 300 small-to-medium scale companies engaged in different industries such as manufacturing, garments and electronics.
Of the 120-hectare property, the government is selling 103 hectares because the remaining 17 hectares are owned by the National Food Authority (NFA).
Last year, private property developers snubbed a public bidding for the property, resulting in a failure of bidding.
Four developers including the Ayala Land Inc. and the Gokongweis’ Robinsons Land Corp. earlier expressed interest in vying for the FTI property but none of them submitted bids during last year’s sale.
The government is counting on the FTI sale to boost revenues and plug an estimated record deficit of P293 billion this year.
Proceeds from the FTI sale will form part of the P30 billion programmed collections from privatization of state-owned assets this year.