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DoTC wants reclamation policy

By Lailany P. Gomez | November 2, 2013 [ manilastandardtoday.com ]

The Transportation Department said the government should oversee the bidding of contracts for major reclamation projects such as the development of Manila Bay in the western section of Pasay City to ensure a level playing field for all players.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters the government should implement a policy on its role in reclamation projects, such as the one in Manila Bay and nearby areas of Las Piñas City and Parañaque City.

“The [Philippine Reclamation Authority] will have a role, but the bidding is being done by the local government. These are significant reclamation projects. There should be a policy on whether you leave it to the local government or such significant reclamation should have the national government oversight,” he said.

Abaya was asked for comment on Pasay City government’s joint venture with land developer SM Land Inc. to reclaim a 300-hectare raw land of Manila Bay at the western part of Pasay City.

SM Land offered to spend at least P54.5 billion to undertake and fully finance the project, which includes costs of all necessary permits and clearances from government agencies and the expenses to comply with all the government and legal requirements.

The Pasay City government published the notice of unsolicited proposal and invitation for competing proposals on Oct. 1 this year and gave all interested parties until Nov. 4 to submit counterproposals.

Ayala Land Inc., however, asked the Pasay City government to extend the Nov. 4 deadline, saying the notice was too short to create a master plan.

Pasay City legal officer Severino Madrona Jr. on Thursday rejected Ayala Land’s petition to extend the deadline for the submission of counter bid, saying the BAC was obliged to abide by the terms of the bid invitation.
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