By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) Updated January 17, 2011 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Finance (DOF) is willing to enter into a negotiated bid with the Gokongwei group’s Robinsons Land Corp. for the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) property in Taguig, officials said Friday night. However, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima stressed that the government would only be willing to entertain unsolicited proposals from prospective investors if they will offer a “new technology.”
Robinsons Land has signified to the Aquino administration its intent to bid for the FTI property in Taguig.
Purisima welcomed Robinson’s interest in the property as he expressed hopes that other developers would also submit offers for the agro-industrial estate. “We welcome this development,” Purisima noted.
The Aquino administration hopes to sell the property at a price higher than the P7 to P9-billion tab set by the previous government for the agro-industrial estate.
The property has been offered to giant developers including the Ayala Group, Robinson’s Land and Henry Sy’s SM Development Corp.
In 2009, private property developers snubbed a public bidding for the property, resulting in a failure of bidding.
FTI is a 20-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).
FTI is among the three big-ticket items the Macapagal-Arroyo administration had attempted to sell.
The two other assets are the government’s stake in Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (P17 billion) and its real estate property in Fujimi, Japan (P3 billion).
The government is counting on the FTI sale to boost revenues and plug an estimated budget deficit of P290 billion this year.
Aside from FTI, the government is also looking into other state-owned assets that may be privatized by the Aquino administration. It is now doing an inventory of assets that may be put on the auction block.