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ALI will honor PEZA lease contracts in FTI

By Marianne V. Go (The Philippine Star) Updated November 02, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) will honor all lease contracts of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in the Food Terminal Inc. Special Economic Zone.

This was the assurance made by Solomon Hermosura, chief legal counsel of ALI, during an interview with The STAR.

According to Hermosura, ALI will honor all long-term leases and is prepared to restructure its proposal for the FTI to accommodate the government’s requirements.

ALI is already in the midst of negotiations with the Department of Finance’s Privatization Management Office for the sale of the 103-hectare FTI complex.

However, several other real estate property developers have also expressed interest in the FTI property including Filinvest, Megaworld and Century Properties.

In fact, Century Properties recently submitted its own unsolicited proposal to the FTI Board wherein Century said that it would allocate 44 hectares within the FTI complex for agro-related activities.

The Department of Agriculture wants to retain 34 hectares of the FTI complex to put up an Agri-Pinoy Trading Center.

Following the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food hearing last week on the FTI sale, Hermosura had assured that ALI is “ready to craft a proposal that would meet the requirements and Terms of Reference of the government.” ALI’s offer appears to be the most favorable to the government.

Karen Singson, chief privatization officer of the PMO-DOF, admitted that they are in talks with one firm that has offered them the “best package” and “is over and beyond what was offered in the previous failed bidding.”

She pointed out that the current negotiation is offering the government “more than what we would achieve in a public bidding.”

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima had earlier told reporters that it has gotten an offer of P19 billion for the FTI property.

However, other real estate property developers –Filinvest, Megaworld and Century Properties are calling for a more transparent open bidding.

Hermosura assured, “we have expected all along a Swiss challenge…which is also a public bidding.”

But the other interested developers complain that the original proponent had an advantage already in a Swiss challenge since it would have the right to match the offer/bid of a third party.

According to Hermosura, however, “there have been instances where a third party wins the Swiss challenge.”

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